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“bird bard” by Tommy O’Riley

i heard a bird this morninga crow i know was performing a poemwith no noteshe knew it all line by lineand he was irreverent as guanothat’s his word, not mine

he had a poet’s beatnik looktapping a bare black footbeak black barreling out from under a sleek black hoodthen he stomped back and forth reciting his linesbeating his wings against his chestrepeating rhymes providing no rest

there was a poignant part about a silken brunette beautyhe longed for her, but it was not meant to besang songs for her, but they were lost in the treeshe’d flap and rap to tell the hapless talebut stayed tough and coolfor the soul of the crow is not easy to see

he went on to rhyme about his life of crimefresh free french fries when you turn your backbig mac hijack with a swoop of blackbreaking the law, catch him if you cancaw caw caw, bird on the lam

i listened to him closely up to the very endbut i don’t think he caredhe bellowed to the wind, from the depths of his inner bird bard“this is my life,” he declaredmerely to say what he had to sayand then to fly away

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