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Bird Thou Never Wert
Julia Fleeman


I like to tease grackles.
When they scold me for sitting outside,
I give them back talk
in fake Gracklese.
My foreign accent confuses them.
“What?  Speak up!” they snap.
I mouth off again
inviting a stream of birdish invective.
When they have finished --
eyes bulging, faces red beneath the feathers,
heads jerking in many directions --
I give them a last mumbled riposte.
I smile at doves and sparrows
contemplate hawks and (once)
an African parrot from Tempe
but for the bully of the back yard –
an avian Bronx cheer.

© by Julia Fleeman.
Used with the author's permission.

Julia Fleeman is a former librarian and Yoga teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. Her work has been anthologized and has appeared online in several venues.  Julia claims to be the nation’s oldest intern: she was a reader for Four Chambers and once performed on a light rail train; she says only one person fled, screaming.




Post New Comment:
As one who has also written poetry about birds talking, I appreciated the humor and the "stream of birdish invective."
Posted 03/11/2022 03:10 PM
Lori Levy:
Like the humor in this poem. Great ending.
Posted 03/09/2022 06:35 PM
Larry Schug:
I wish those grackles would not bring their gang of starlings with them to our feeders. I do really like their portrayal in this poem. The banter between grackle and human is delightful. I wish I'd have thought of that.
Posted 03/09/2022 02:00 PM
Glen Sorestad:
A most enjoyable poem, Julia. Sparring with grackles successfully is not an easy act.
Posted 03/09/2022 12:06 PM
Grackles just wanna have fun!!! Cute poem!!
Posted 03/09/2022 08:53 AM
What fun! Delightful poem Julia.
Posted 03/09/2022 08:47 AM
I would never heckle or hackle, much less tackle a grackle. Fun piece. Thanks, Randy
Posted 03/09/2022 07:35 AM

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