Early Morning

Someone spread these crumbs in the dark
An off-white offering for city crows
Shredded bread like snowflakes in the blackness
Caught by the neon glow of the MAXOL sign
Where men have begun their work by now
Washing metal, checking parts.

I imagine a man’s hand spreading the breadcrumbs too
His ruddy lump of skin and bone barely moving
Bent forward in his wax jacket, cap askew
White beard yellowing, colour of Guinness scum
drenching decade old beer mats.

He misses the warmth of his local
His usual haunt
Craves its company
Smiles to see these birds with slick wet feathers
Drawn to the smell of the pump, the rump of an old man
with old hands always giving.

I imagine him, this bird feeder, inside his pebble-dashed terrace
on the outskirts of town
Remembering his father tying his small bike at the front gate
Each evening, the same persistent focus
Yanking those knots in place.



Jennifer Horgan is a teacher and writer living in Cork Ireland. Her work has been published in Crossways, Poethead, The Honest Ulsterman, The Blue Nib and The 2 Metre Review. Her Non fiction book O Captain My Captain is out this summer, published by Orpen Press. Website: www.jenniferhorgan.com