Sparrows rat-a-tat the double-glazing.
Matted feathers, smatterings of blood
And smeary wing-prints stain the glass
Until we can hardly see the garden.

There’s a soot-blast at the fireplace.
A dozen blackened birds, beaks gaping
Tilt their heads, fixing us with yellow eyes.
One has a broken leg, but still hops.

We hear screeching. The puffed up Robins
Have done for Max (we taped the cat flap).
A swarm of what must be doves, descend
To join the magpies strutting the roof.

A scream. We turn. What seem like thousands
Of wrens stream through the letter box.
We hack at them with old tennis rackets
Fall back and jam the door in the lounge.

They batter for hours, then all goes quiet.
The fuses blow. We wait, deathly still
Into the night, tune the radio for good news
But each station blasts out birdsong.


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