Orphan — A Poem

The air vibrates,

crackles with alarm,

with a dozen voices lifted.

The sky churns,

a-roil with frantic motion,

with wings that beat —

blue, red, brown, gray —

and claws that flex;

with beaks

that jab and split and scream.

The storm

of this haphazard flock,

focused on a soot-winged marauder.

Adorned in ebony,

he cowers beneath their blows,

beneath the arc and unrelenting descent

of their contempt.

Then, with a sullen croak of “uncle”,

he lifts from the roof’s peak,

spreads shadow wings

and flees.

All is still.

Peace returns.

The makeshift flock disperses.


tucked within the hedge,

spot-breasted and unfledged,

plucked or dropped or wrested

from the nest,

we find young Robin —

unwitting participant,

and silent witness

to all.

— C.Birde, 6/16


Robin 2.jpg

“Young Robin” — A.Schnitzler, 6/16



4 thoughts on “Orphan — A Poem

  1. it’s interesting for me to realize how the last four lines changed everything. i was about to be glad that the intruder had been chased away, but then find young robin out of the nest. instant empathy! these lines do a fine job of characterizing how savage birds can be: “and claws that flex; with beaks/ that jab and split and scream.” i have to admit that i do have a prejudice for crows, nest-raiders that they are. my brothers and i found a crow in a riverbed whose wings had been brutally trimmed to keep him from flying. he turned out not only to be smart, but a loyal, affectionate friend, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you — I can add that we took the young robin to a licensed avian rehabilitation center, and he is expected to survive and be returned to the wild. 🙂 Also, that, though unfledged robins cannot fly, they can run…fast! Like you, I am actually a fan of crows — I admire their family structure and their intelligence and their loyalty to one another. I am amazed by all I imagine your experience to have been with the crow you rescued! The main character in the short book I recently finished (unpublished) rescued a crow and found a similarly loyal friend in him 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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