Poems – The Fish And The Jay

ProtectApond1 jay

The Fish And The Jay

Kick out the clichés about birds;
flight, freedom, sky.
Focus instead upon
the dead jay found in a pond.

Entangled with weed,
and wire mesh,
to keep the herons away,
it found itself surprised
by the weight of the water.
In terror it beat its wings
against the strands that clung,
until the fight was gone
and only the slowness of time
and suffering mocked the bird to its end.

I dug a hole and with the shovel
lifted the dead thing dripping.
Stiffly it slid from the spade
into its peaty nest.
The blues and auburns were faded –
the way colours of aquarium fish
dull when interest in them has gone.
The tank all furred;
through a green scum you peer,
to eventually find the creatures
stiff upon their sides.

Your hands are bleeding from
pulling at the wire.
My head is bruised
and the glass won’t break.

This poem appeared in Envoi #166