Mouth agape, silent war cry.
Body hammered scrap metal,
dusty, coarse red
from the elements.
Hardly a place
you’d expect to find three plump feather-balls
chirping for their parents.
Yet, in the gap between those rusted fangs,
they huddle within their nest.
A blush of yellow and grey
flicks from the rooftops to the sculpture’s head,
tail wagging up and down,
dripping water caught on its plumage
(a tell of its quick visit to the neighbour’s fountain).
Eyeing people in the distance, it pauses:
just another feature of the motionless guard.
All clear, it returns to its young
and fills their empty crops
with plentiful spoils.
Little worry for nimble predators
happening upon its modest family,
for, as in previous years, the imposing figure
proves a mighty deterrent.
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here.
I was inspired to write this poem by a letter I read in the RSPB’s Nature’s Home magazine that had been sent in by a member of the public. The letter and accompanying photos featured a family of grey wagtails nesting in the mouth of a scrap metal sculpture, going on to say that the sculpture’s owner had seen the birds nesting there the previous year too, and so never wants to sell it. Cool, right?