Let Us Pray
The birdman laid the sparrowhawk
down on a sheet of crisp, white paper.
Its unblemished form and corn hued claws
depicted the splendour of death.
Hit clean by a car’s wing mirror,
and found beside a weave
of brambles and briars,
weighted with berries on the turn.
Its wings outstretched, a bishop
on the altar, his cassock a marvel
of graduated plumage, slate-grey
with rufous barring.
This consummate hunter
ambushed his prey from a perch.
He flew low, fooling finches,
altered his flight path last minute.
His agility awarded with a hearty meal
and as he cocked his ear
to a magpie’s rattle, his talons
gripped tight his catch.
He plucked his kill like a harried
housewife with a goose on Christmas Eve.
On the Sabbath, she pegged laundry
on the line, the jabs in time
to little feather tufts swirling from a nest of bones,
in an autumn morning’s breeze.
Sated, he flew off over moor and heather,
swooped and circled as death started
her engine three miles away,
the birdman’s wife on her way to church.
By Lorraine Carey
Lorraine Carey’s an Irish poet. Her work is widely anthologised and published in many journals including The Ofi Press, Willawaw, The High Window, Ink Sweat &Tears, Eunoia Review, One Hand Clapping, Poetry Ireland Review, Orbis, Prole, The Honest Ulsterman, Porridge Magazine and Marble among others. Her art and photography have featured in Barren Magazine, Olentangy Review and Skylight 47. Longlisted in The National Poetry Competition 2019, her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival)