Maggie Sawkins: a poem



The Birds


She got used to the birds

flying around the house


except for the days

when their cawing filtered

through the floorboards


and even the dog was afraid.


When friends or relations came

the birds disappeared through the windows

and waited on the rooftop

or under the eaves.


One day the cawing stopped.


The birds settled in the silence

like a big black cloud.


In her bedroom she built a cage

and the birds flew in

one by one.


Weeks later she returned from school

found her mother and father

in the kitchen – kissing.


From her room she could hear

the flutter of a million tiny wings.


The door opened and the birds

glided through the house


weightless and blue.



Maggie Sawkins lives in Portsmouth and delivers creative writing projects in community settings.  Her live literature production "Zones of Avoidance" won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Her most recent poetry collection, Many Skies Have Fallen, is published by Wild Mouse Press. You can find her here: www.hookedonwords.me.