Birds and birds! Swooping over earth,
Invading uncle’s strawberry patch
Where baby cries, refusing the warmth
Of mother’s arms, inappropriate as birth
In space; dear uncle tries to catch
A bird that’s settled on his hearth.
Mother takes baby back indoors,
Afraid they’ll peck his eyeballs out
While uncle stands and waves his arms
Like Canute upon a distant shore.
From the kitchen, baby hears his shout
And senses in it more than harm.
And birds are circling up ahead,
The sky a mess of puzzled wings
That clamour in the summer’s heat.
Dear uncle panics, shouts of dread,
Of brushing past a nettle’s sting.
Baby chuckles and falls asleep.