Carol Ann Duffy


And when I twitched the crisp, white cloth from the tray
to reveal my slice of the King’s pie, a blackbird,
called in pastry, sang on the plate, an olive
anchored its tiny foot to the dainty dish,

The yellow halo of its eye was a ring
to marry song; its golden beak, a nib
to write on days…but as I put my knife and fork
to its breast, its wings opened, like it prayed.

All day and night, I fasted, till the bird,
peculiarly the music of God, slept;
then I pounced, feasted - a disgrace of feathers
on the floor - pouring the King’s fine wine.

Now I have its whistle on my mulchy breath;
a spill of little bones boiled in a broth.