I pin up fresh delicates in the morning’s raw green light;
their silks and satins flutter like bunting.
With an instant yes to their RSVP
a fantail jinks, flips, back-flirts, grapevines,
sashays and polkas at eye-height,
puffs up its face feathers, chitters,
leaps wire to wire on the clothesline,
teases hide and seek through the straps and lace,
prinks and preens,
with a fine, proud eye, scans me
from blue diamante hairclip
to Wet Shine Opal nail polish,
tosses his beak with a what’s this,
call yourself a feminist,
mutton ponced up as lamington,
fancy that at your age!
Licketty-flit, it air-skates tipsy eights
towards the door and windows
that are all flung breezily open;
mid-twirl, pauses and almost wilts
so superstition grips me with its old frost
while it hovers at each threshold
as if listening to some deep instinct
that tells it whether
to ghost through each room
like smoke in a small, grey funereal plume.
But then, reprieve,
the bird with wolfish trills
turns for the sky,
and a strange, soft current stirs my skirt’s hem
as if death sighs, resigned for a moment,
settles its feathers
in its warm, ribbed nest of bone.