A Blue Jay on a Grey Afternoon

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Contributor: Joshua Bocher

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One day, while walking home from work, I saw
A blue jay carrying in its claws a canary’s egg.
It flew straight into a stranger’s home.
Curious, I snuck past the fence, following it,
And I saw it nesting in a tall tree.
Seeing me, it squawked,
And gave me a little grin
(Its beak turning upon
A most peculiar curve).
In the name of self-defense,
I pointed my finger at it
In the shape of a gun
And made loud sounds
As a child would—
Bam! Bam!—
It flew down towards me
With a wounded wing.
It crouched in pain
In the palm of my hand.
Looking straight at me,
It flashed its eyes at me,
Visibly perplexed and hurt.
Then, gazing at it from above,
I slit open its chest
With my finger, but
It was empty.
It flopped down to the floor
Looking like a deflated balloon.

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Joshua Bocher's poetry has appeared in such journals as Illuminations, The Germ, Subliminal Interiors, and Counterexample Poetics. He works in public health non-profits in the Boston area and live with his wife in Somerville, MA.


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