‘It is time we stopped taking walks together. Follow.’
The jackdaw knows we’re watched and is ashamed.
‘I don’t expect you’ll fly like show-off swallows,
but if we stay aground like this folks think I’m maimed.’
‘It is sad’, he adds, ‘that only in reflections,
like this one, can you reach the chimney tops.
If you’d better coordinate your genuflections
or hold you mouth right when you practice hops
we’d be the bee’s knees. Walk right on the edge
like I am, and, when I do, try to soar.’
Intent, I move from Hatch almost to Fledge
but chicken out, unfeathered, one time more.
‘There are few bipeds I’ve met with who are ground-leashed.
Are you an ostrich? You will get me ostracised’,
says the jackdaw sotto voce, adding, ‘Sheesh!’
I am fed up being walked and criticised
and I hope he’ll leave. He demonstrates a takeoff,
wings pitched to rise, and I call out, ‘Farewell’
but he pretends that I yelled ‘stroganoff ‘
and answers, ‘Where’s the beef?’ – he’s smart as hell
but a travesty as friend. He eyes a boat
and asks would I require a flying bridge
or an aeroplane to get across this moat.
I tell him blackbird pie is in the fridge,
and he says he’s et already and he alters
position getting set to cross the street.
‘Is walking something else at which you falter?’
says the jackdaw. ‘Now I’ll show you something neat.’
And he does. He crosses his path then takes mine.
When Jackdaw walks he walks with fire and flair.
‘Try this’, he says in parting. He’s so fine,
both feet at once stride neatly on thin air.