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.