Poems of the Week

It’s Personal

by Bruce Bennett

“’Very rarely do magpies attack more than one or two people,’ said Darryl Jones, a magpie expert
at Griffith University. ‘It’s the same individual people that they attack each time.’
And magpies have long memories: One of Dr. Jones’s research assistants was attacked upon his return after 15 years
away from one bird’s territory. As Sean Dooley, the public affairs manager of Birdlife Australia,
put it,
‘If you think it’s personal, you’re right.’”

The New York Times

Don’t trifle with a magpie.
He will not soon forget.
He’ll wait till you come back again,
and then you will regret

Whatever caused his grievance.
They’re vengeful and they’re smart.
A bird—okay, I’ll say it—
who’s after my own heart.