This poem is taken from Stand 224, 17(4) December 2019 - February 2020.

Jenny King Four Poems
Starlings

Two shiny starlings sit on the chimney
conversing in whistles under a yellow-grey sky.
They have flown from a wintry place
and are discussing strategy. Listen! Under their breath
they are making plans for the gutter above that special spot
where the rotted end of a board leaves a front door.

We ask, This is about to be spring then?
No good asking the sparrows, who hide their nests in the hedge,
nor the blackbird who favours the heart of the Portuguese laurel,
still less the robin who sings on and on in our garden
but nests next door. None of these
will show you their private business.

Our starlings, though, keep flying up and down
to whichever is minding the eggs in their makeshift nest –
not secret, not romantic or beautifully formed –
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