In a small garden in the Netherlands
Stands a pavilion for exotic birds.
It’s simply built of canopy and wire,
And paraqueets fly joyfully inside.
Upon the floor, small quail importantly
Scrabble across the balding grass and dust.
And budgerigars perch high and make remarks,
As though nobody else but they can hear.
Outside, two sparrows go careering through the trees.
They have a nest within the cool beech hedge.
For just a moment, they swoop down to drink
In a crock bowl that nestles in the grass.
The paraqueets are happy with their lot.
Safe in their palace, nothing troubles them.
Their food is brought, fresh gathered, every day.
But oh, they can’t resist a little jibe.
‘You may think you are free and we are caged.
But we are loved more preciously than you.
Nothing can harm us in our pleasure dome,
Whilst you have been abandoned and forgot.’
The sparrows smile and do not say a word,
Although they hear those words upon the breeze.
They dance across the garden to their nest,
Knowing that they are also loved and blessed.
© Ruth Twyman Lockyer May 2011