At the bird feeder: a postcard
We’ve cut the laurel back now
to make it less easy
but before that
I watched the rat
climb up through
the bayleaf branches
and tightrope across
the thin rail to where
the birds’ peanuts hang.
One whiskery snout
first pushed out among the foliage
(I, by the window, put down my book)
then the keen-eyed look took in the task
and the rat made its quickwitted clownish crossing
not without risk but with reward.
Common brown rat, pink-eared and pink-footed,
deft and dedicated to the art of food.
I watched on, complicit, and not without
love for this distant cousin who knows
an opportunity when he sees it
and who can blame him for that?
~ Fiona Owen. www.fionaowen.wordpress.com
This poem, by one of our members in Wales, was previously printed in the Spring 2011 issue of Quaker Voices.