Siobhán Flynn
Kindness to crows

       In memoriam John Downs

I keep seeing them here;
painted ones in the turbulent sky
of Vincent’s last painting,
plastic ones with synthetic feathers
for sale in the film museum
and real ones
attempting a murder in the Vondelpark,
Hitchcockian on branches
or on the railings waiting for you.

It’s all about the parakeets, you say,
no one thinks of the crows
,
but, hoping for one to light
on your hand and eat from your fingers,
you bring them dog biscuits
whenever you are well enough to cross the city.

We talk to a man on the tram,
who went to Ireland once.
When you get off
with your stick and your dog
he asks if you are blind,
which makes you laugh when I tell you
and made me smile as I watched you,
fearless and determined,
topsy-turvy through the traffic.