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The Rook

When I saw the rook

On the inside

Of the window

I knew that she had died.

I rang the bell.

No reply.

Knocked on the door.

No reply.

Called through the letterbox.


No reply.

And the rook kept tapping

At the window.

From the inside.

Trying to get out.

I rang her phone.

No reply.

Got her key

And tried the door.

The lock turned.

But the door was bolted.

On the inside.

And still the rook pecked

At the inside of the window.

Trying to get out.

One policeman came outside

And showing tact

- As they did throughout the evening



I'm sorry to tell you

That she's passed away.

And the bird?

I asked.

Ah, the bird

He said.

I looked at the bird.

It looked at me

Straight in the eye.

Then it flew

Out of the door.

The air was warm.

The evening still

And calm.

Beautiful and clear.

That's good

I said to my neighbour.


She said.

That's Olwen's spirit

Flying free.

Off to join her husband

Who had died last year.



I know the house.

There's no way in

For a rook.

When all the windows

Are closed.

Which they were.

My neighbour was small

And wiry.

Of ancient Welsh stock.

Proud and independent.

Aged ninety three

A widow now.

She kept her loss

And her lonliness

To herself.

The police were called

And when they came

They saw the bolted door.

And the rook.

Inside the window.


Still trying to get out.

A domestic bolt is no match

For a policemen's heavy boot

And it gave way

To one good kick.

Both policemen went inside

And into the room.

Where the rook


At the window.

Trying to get out.