Fiona Perry, Bird Tarot

Bird Tarot

An ibis incumbent on our neighbours’ TV aerial watching us barbeque a
Butterflied leg of lamb, the cloud of its body the only one in the sky.

A pigeon eating chips in the shadow of St Michael at the North Gate
Watched by another sitting on the clocktower. It is precisely midday.

A nesting magpie swooping towards my head repeatedly as I cycle
Around Lake Monger where the long-necked turtles live.

A pair of wood pigeons skirmishing — no, wait — copulating on a brick wall
Outside the kitchen window. Vanilla pancake batter firming in the skillet.

A Wedgewood-blue budgie fluttering around an aviary decorated with
Web, ghouls and candles. Singing plaintively to the trick or treaters.

“Let the pigeons perched on the greenhouse into the loft,” you instructed
From your deathbed. No way of seeing them from the room you were in.

But they were there. Lined up like soldiers.

It was not the time to remind you the loft was left abandoned
Years ago when it all became too much.

I read the bird tarot cards you leave for me – they are reminders
To live life like the infant riding the white horse
Galloping towards the future
Shone on by sunflowers.

Fiona Perry’s poetry and short stories have been published in The Blue Nib, Boyne Berries and Skylight 47, amongst many other journals. Her short fiction was nominated for the Australian Morrison Mentoring prize in 2014 and 2015, and her poetry was selected for the National Poetry Day Ireland 2019 ‘Labelit’ project.

Read more of Fiona here.


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