Note: This poem is from my new book, THE BOOK OF KELLS https://tinyurl.com/yaf582af which just won the Best Poetry Book of 2018 Award from Poetry by the Sea: http://poetrybytheseaconference.org/bookcontest.html. The nursery rhyme I’m referring to goes, “One is for sorrow, two is for joy. Three for a girl, four for a boy.” Seeing just one magpie was said to be bad luck. . . .
Magpie on the lawn, and I am transfixed
by its exotic look: stark black and white
feathers, jutting tail, strut like a peacock
on the glittering grass that spills a handful
of emeralds before him. One is for sorrow,
the old nursery rhyme goes, and I look for a partner,
hoping for joy. Oily feathers glossed purple
and green, snowy shoulders, chest, and wingtips;
motley and pied. He doesn’t need the rest
of the spectrum, the gaudy rainbow’s pennants and flags.
He knows the world is black and white. See him swoop,
searching for treasure: bottle caps, gum wrappers, pennies,
the glitter the rest of the world discards. This gray day
brightens because of his antics, and look, here
comes joy winging to join him, just when
I thought it was no longer possible. . . .
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© 2019 Barbara Crooker