Whatever you bloody well say
I will have a jackdaw for a pet,
blackest black right through to its heart.
I will circle its neck with a shining collar
barbed with sharpened spikes
and call it Odin or Beowulf.
With its evil white eye and ice-pick beak,
imaginary thumbs flexing imaginary braces,
it will perch on my shoulder
pleating creaky origami wings
under my chin.
How shall I capture this wild thing
and make it my own?
Shall I catch it stealthily
by dropping a net from a tree?
Shall I tempt it with exotic food and pretty words?
Shall I make it promises I cannot keep
or hypnotise it with my eyes?
And when he’s finally mine
and he stays out all night
with his flighty mates who lead him astray
with their raucous laughter, smutty jokes
and brazen infidelities,
shall I sulk then and throw dishes
at his smoky grey head
and wish he were just dull and faithful
with an anorak and a steady job?