The Magpie
 
Oh, harshly misunderstood crow,
Your priestly raiment flashing white,
Springs up like some alien
Threatening all the dreams I owe.
 
But never could I dislike you,
Your stark whiteness adorns the lawn.
Other corvids are taunted and mocked.
Behold merry avian Jew!
 
You fly down to land near the daws
Or rather you bounce in cheerful
Charade like some gymnastic clown
Waiting for a round of applause.
 
All birds flee at the sight of man;
Is it the penalty we pay?
As man can never get near you
He hates you as much as he can.
 
Crows! Are they’re too clever by half?
Knowing not their place in man’s scheme:
‘The scandal-mongers of the woods’ *
Give them a chance to make you laugh.
 
Do they not thrive upon our hate?
Coming back again and again,
Cheeky as any bird could be,
Cocking a snook at careless fate.
 
You’d think alongside flashy jay
And the chough’s scarlet legs and beak
Other crows would fire themselves up
Brightening the daws’ sheen of grey.
 
Huh! Just to please us and yet why?
Black was selected to serve them
For reasons nature decided
Seeing no cause to please man’s eye.

© RM Meyer, Winswell Water, December 2019

* Ex Ovid, Metamorphoses.