His handsome plumage disguises
a high-flying dark underbelly,
a conniving thief in a tuxedo of feathers
as he lay in wait, silent witness
biding time until he can lunge at dinner
without thanking the unwitting chef.
Is the magpie more crow? A contradiction –
attractive omen of ill fortune portending
no songs for the bird prematurely uncracked
from his egg mid-gestation? Is the magpie
more peacock? Beautiful blue and white feathers
spread majestically, though boastful he
bounds with rowing wingbeats
while lesser birds wilt below.
The magpie is supposed to be intelligent.
He only knows how to be him.