She landed heavily on the lawn, yellow beaked
with bright red spot for a Pavlov response
in their tiny brood of ever hungry chicks,
grabs and fights and fusses over a few crumbs,
flapping noisily those strong wings, holding
her muscled body ready to fly off in an instant
should cat or dog or gardening human appear.
Now she readies her self, stamps her feet,
their webbed strength sounding like rain
to those wriggling worms who, on hearing,
tunnel their way up towards the pittering
and pattering, and raising their blind eyes
find themselves lost in the snapping sunny
jaws of the ever hungry, diligent mother.
She heaves herself screaming off the ground
and cries and shouts her way over the rows
of roof tops until she’s home, hee-haws her
coo at her chimney, disgorges wriggling worms,
into open beaks of her mottled family,
squawking and batting each other, just to
tell her how their empty bellies grumble.
Hoisting herself back into the air, joins a
fight over lunch scraps by an empty bench,
and keeping a weather eye on gardens she
takes to the air and her well fed chicks call
her back and back, always asking for more,
but together with her mate they endure,
until they are ungainly brown grown birds.
They struggle to get their last nested meal,
hastening over each other to clamber out,
and then they flop onto branches and begin
to flap their strengthening wings until they
too flap and fly and scream with delight
as the air flows over their growing bodies
and the skies open to their unfettered joy.
They scrapped and fought as they grew
They fussed and wailed and squabbled,
cried out their annoyance, hunger and
from their persistent progeny they have
learned well their lessons and too from
hardworking parents, for now they flew
and wailed, scrabbling for kitchen scraps.
They screamed, chattered and fought
their way through the summer months,
snatched worms from the earth, pushed
and shoved but while brown they took
the second place in everything until, after
two long winters they were whitened.