My mother always told me to salute you,
With a brisk striking motion with my hand from the head,
The first time I ever saw you,
You lowered your head and bowed to me.
You have been despised for years I told,
For hanging around battlefields and gallows long ago,
Disturbing people with your chattering call,
When from a distance heard is unmistakable.
One morning you perched on my garden fence,
The eye in the sky shone buoyant and bright,
I was surprised you didn’t shoot off,
When the patio door slid open.
But elegant you perched on my garden fence,
I tiptoed towards you tentative and slow
And stopped and looked into your brown eyes,
I never thought I would get so close.
I stroke your velvet textured head,
My long finger tickles your oily white bust,
Your two tone colour mystifies me,
A cross between a crow and a dove.
My mother always told me you symbolise,
Bad nuns, bad priests made visible again.
You shoot off and my superstition dies –
No need to salute Magic Bird, chatter-pie.