Eight magpies and a fox on the shed roof

Eight magpies and a fox on the shed roof

Eight magpies and one fox
           the birds have assumed
military positions
           they will not be intimidated
the fox stares at them
           he will not be intimidated

Perhaps he admires their plump
           black and white bodies
perhaps they admire
           his lush russet fur

The fox is surrounded
           but perhaps he is enjoying
being the centre of attention
           he has nothing to fear
the birds have nothing to fear
           It’s just a moment
in which neither side
           wishes to back down
but it will soon pass
           it soon did

John Lyons


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