In ash trees whipped by fierce, unspringlike weathers
A crow alights, hat-black and hungry-eyed.
Untroubled by the gale that frays his feathers,
Imperious and bold, no need to hide:
The buzzards do not come here, as he knows
Full well; the sparrowhawk inspires no dread
In one his size. Cocksure, his disdain shows
In every jaunty tilt of his sleek head.
And then, from nowhere, comes a flash of grey –
A collared dove, in fast and fearless flight
To drive the hated nest-robber away:
The great peace emblem spoiling for a fight.
When my dark terrors gather to attack
I’ll rouse my mild soul – and strike them back.
From our kitchen window, we watched this little commonplace drama being played out in our garden this morning. I found the idea of a big, wind-raggedy crow being angrily shooed out of the garden by the universal symbol of peace and reconciliation rather appealing – and felt there was a lesson there, too.