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Altercation at Supper

by Oonah V. Joslin

blacker than black
all beak and screaigh
the parent bird
strafes the sparrowhawk
that stole a chick,
enforcing nature’s laws about the weak.

Origami-tail and angled wing
his gaping yellow bill shrills sharp with sound.
He does not easily give up parenting.

The sparrowhawk stays put,
prey in its claws,
caught in the act but not for giving up,
rounded over in defensive mode,
knowing it has bested the nesting birds
the blackbird’s posing
absurd. Go away, silly bird!

At last the squawking and commotion cease.
The sparrowhawk does not release
but flies with ease beneath the yew
and in full view of the nest
begins to feed.
Fluffy feathers fly
peck, peck.

Return to table.
Awe and disgust.
Appetite lost
in the irony of chicken.

Copyright © 2013 by Oonah V. Joslin

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