by Margaret Galvin
When I lifted the lid on the half-barrel
someone had circled into the kitchen
there was the surprise
of the jackdaw,
his pale-blue eyes quick and observant,
his charcoal wing splayed
at an odd angle.
The day he balanced on the rim
we knew we’d lost
that little crow
with the grey-silver shawl
admired at close quarters.
He took the kitchen in his stride,
insinuated the hoary shale of his beak
into our palms, insisted on service
in loud metallic tones.
Though we knew him to be
a natural scavenger at heart,
we missed that Jack in the pack,
that petty thief who’d snatch
your scrap of silver,
that knave who’d live in your chimney.
Copyright © 2007 by Margaret Galvin.