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  • the robin wears a blush across its breast
    & so we like to think how cute it is:
    little clown nose, round as a snooker ball,
    bosomy cousin to the skinny sparrow.

    but of course its button eyes have seen
    things ours probably won’t: two foxes
    fucking; crows ripping at the rotting body
    of a man; an Auschwitz of badgers in a field.

    sweet funny winter bird, we render you
    on paper as an emblem of Christmas – chubby
    mascot, a bauble in a tree, tinsel-tinged
    with triangle wings and a cocoa nib beak,

    ornament above a dumb mum and fat dad
    who sit eating adverts with three slug offspring,
    surrounded by the filched skins of trees
    all pressed and painted with your image.

    little birdy, fly away, before my pen attempts
    to do the same –net you in a web of ink;
    to tame you, take away your wildness; to dip
    my pen in your bloody breast, without shame.
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