Murder in the Car Park

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On my weary timeworn weekday trudge

To the nearby afternoon bargain counter

Through the bustling dogging car park

One freezing day before true summer


An avian swirl of sudden angry squawks

Revealed an evicted blackbird fledgling

Fluffed plump and brown, its parents

And two cocked, malevolent magpies


Shielding their offspring with fluttering

Screams the blackbirds yielded ground.

Sensing impending abandonment, their

Fledgling braved a dash of clumsy flight


Before crashing exhausted underneath

The car park gates. One bright-eyed

Magpie flapped over to take possession

Of its hard-won, desperate meal


An eager stabbing beak descended once,

Twice, thrice, a well-tried blade of jet

Seeking the frightened pulse, adoring

The rusty living tang of fledgling blood


Moved to human outrage at the crime

I shooed the eager killer from its prey.

Seizing its unexpected moment, the

Fledgling braved another shoddy flight


Towards the nearby hedgerow, where it hid.

The outraged magpie couple flapped away

Thwarted of their vernal urge to kill, both

Beaks unquenched and bloodlust unfulfilled.

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 20th Oct 2021 16:44

Good point, John.

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John F Keane

Wed 20th Oct 2021 13:27

Tricky, Stephen, because magpie numbers in urban settings are unnaturally high anyway. In true nature, their numbers are kept down by natural predators like hawks, which no longer exist in urban or suburban spaces. If the fledgling escaped to a hedge, its parents can recognise its calls and feed it to adulthood.

It was not a nice thing for people to be seeing in a public car park, anyway.

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Nigel Astell

Tue 19th Oct 2021 02:30

A white avenger
saves a life
feathered killers
black hearts.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 18th Oct 2021 20:59

A fascinating poem, John. The whole issue of interfering in nature is a tricky one.

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