The Blackstart


This popped out one afternoon on a day I’d just about resigned to being a blank page day. I read it to my audience of one, and it made her chuckle – which is always good enough for me.

The Blackstart

The Blackstart comes when she’s in town,

to peck at crumbs put on the ground

for sparrows, who come in fours and fives –

plus one to watch, plus one to cry, a warning

if Mrs B is by, or Maggie the magpie with the evil eye.

And sometimes doves will coo on down,

then button their lips to make no sound –

a couple: a wife, a husband, (or lover)

and help themselves to what’s left over.

But if they’re seen, they’re shooed away,

I’m not sure why. I couldn’t say.

The Blackstart always comes alone,

she takes her fill and then is gone

on flittered wing, for she’s made some plans,

to the beach perhaps to kick some sand,

or dip her feet,

or catch the sun,

to take a tea,

to meet someone…

Or does she always dine alone?

I’ll ask her… When she comes again.


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