Everyone held a bird, except you.
A policeman eyed you suspiciously.
You followed the crowd into the square.

When the clock struck noon, everyone
lifted their bird aloft. Some snapped necks
and wings, or let their bird fly.

A wife watched her swift until out
of sight, while her husband’s starling
drooped limply, no light left in its eyes.

Everyone had a bird. Only your hands
were voiceless. All you could do was fling
them uselessly into the sky.



Gary Jude is from London but has been living and working in Bern, Switzerland for many years. He has previously had poems published, including in Ink Sweat & Tears, The Interpreters House, Poetry Salzburg, Orbis and Dream Catcher.