Lately, an extended family of magpies

have taken to my front yard.

The summer ground is hard and dry as salt biscuits,

so the appeal must be the shade of the young Japanese maple.

The fat adults all look the same,

but the youngsters come in shades of grey

and dirty white,

varying heights,

and that lean look so prized by fashion.

They warble their way through sonatas and afternoons,

turning to me as I check the letter box,

as if to say: get off our lawn.

When I oodle-ardle-wardle at them,

they regard me with amusement.

Why is that large pink creature,

the colour of a fat worm,

speaking nonsense in a heavy accent?

Foolish thing. Ignore.

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