Bye bye Blackbird

Last spring the laurel hedge by my window was empty
No chirruping, calling, no rustling of glossy leaves
No fledglings edging off the nest onto twigs and then the adjacent fence
No wobbling and frantic flapping as parents patiently cajole
No triumphant flights to the Rose bushes
Only to tumble to the grass
As the chosen twig was too thin

I didn’t see a blackbird in my garden all summer
An oven of a season, hot, glaring, unseasonal in England
I mourn the fathers melodies, sung full voiced to advent dawn
The mother following me, chatting as she pirated fallen chicken feed
All those babies, remember the funeral my small sons conducted
For a tiny one found dead mid-lawn

Our erstwhile neighbours
Missing, presumed…..?

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A second poem written in reponse to Earthweal’s challenge ‘Ghosts’ at

Please go and see what else is there!

This poem is also a direct reponse to Sumana Roy’s poem “Bring them Back”


17 thoughts on “Bye bye Blackbird

  1. The iterations of presence in the first stanza really open up the sense of absence grieved through the rest. A great reminder that particulars are vital. Bye bye blackbird indeed. I loved Sumana’s poem too, in such a bittersweet way — Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, the missing blackbirds are a loss indeed. The funeral for the baby adds a note of prescience for the ones missing later. I love poems with birds in them. Loved this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely poem. Free verse or are you following a particular form? Of course, to us, blackbirds are something of villains, as they keep wrens and finches from our feeders until the hawk comes around.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this one, makes me think of the Beatles song. So sad that in England, of all places, it is hot. And the image of your sons conducting a little funeral (sigh). Our birds are suffering perhaps more than we who are to blame

    Liked by 1 person

  5. a poignant piece, beautifully written: I love ‘oven of a season’ as we have had down here tow four day heatwaves and then cool, mild weather for weeks and it looks like we’re good for another. I don’t miss the heat. I would have missed the blackbirds though. WE have them here. I fill the bird bath regularly even when it’s not hot. I love your writing. Thanks for liking mine and commenting . Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you John for your kind words about my writing, it is much appreciated. We still have blackbirds in the area, but the population has decreased, possibly due to a run of soaking winters and hot summers. The loss of the couple that have raised so many familes next to my dining room window is strongly felt by my (now adult) sons.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My mornings begin with me filling a bowl hanging from an orchid tree branch with wild bird seed and some scatterings on the ground with bread crumbs. Sparrows, doves and crows dive in for breakfast. But a couple of times a month the food is left untouched– because a cooper hawk has made a fly through those days– sometimes with his luck. Such is nature. Nice verse!

    Liked by 1 person

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