The yard an explosion of feathers.

I look down at the pigeon: mostly red

gunk, except for its exposed ribs –

pink and white, striped like a boiled sweet.


I scoop it into a plastic bag,

recoiling only once at its foot caught

in the tie-handle, red, clawed,

withered like a tomato top.


The gate squeals and I step into the deserted street,

swinging the bag. I walk past shut-up houses

with their felt-tip rainbows on display,

a shadow of wing visible through the plastic.


The public bin at the end of the road

has a narrow, down-turned mouth.

I take aim and make a little corpse lasso

like a fairground game. It takes me three tries.


I inwardly apologise to the pigeon for its lost dignity

as it thud-rustles into the side of the bin.

And then I head home, empty handed, imagining

the quarantined watching from their windows.





Also by Jenny,