Ornithologia Corvidae – Sarah McPherson
A Murder of Crows
The day I met him, the ornithologist told me corvids were the most intelligent birds. He kept telling that joke: attempted murder. I asked him if they used knives.
A Clattering of Jackdaws
I keep a jar of change – like my gran – for emergencies, though she raided it for cribbage night. His disapproval hovered, beady-eyed, when I picked pennies in the street.
A Band of Jays
He wanted me in fine feathers. I became talented at mimicry, playing a part, vibrant in blue – his favourite colour – my voice indistinguishable from his song.
An Unkindness of Ravens
It bothered him that I favoured myth over science. Thoughts and memories can be cruel, but I was happy, I suppose, before their dusk-shadowed wings swept between us.
A Charm of Magpies
The day I left, I caught my image looking out from the mirror and knew her, finally; sorrow and joy writ in monochrome, secrets safe behind sharp eyes.