augury doggerel

Friday, April 05, 2002

Housewarming, Homewrecking

A pair of long-tailed magpies is building a nest in the trees along the millstream that runs down from the hills and through town. I watch them while I wait for the bus to work.

This morning, they and three or four other magpies were hopping in the field alongside the stream. Every minute or so, one would carry a stick up to the new waterfront loft. I don't know them well enough to be sure who owns the nest and who was just visiting the new place. Are there magpie contractors?

A flap and a glide downstream from there is the pile of brick where men from an old truck have finally pulled down the condemned house on the corner. The remaining walls are leaning on, or have become one with, the walls of the next house. The work now will have to be less demolition than surgery.

If you weren�t afraid of things collapsing, you could still walk up their stairs to half of a green-tiled kitchen, but the chimney that smoked just a few weeks ago is rubble and the pretty girl who skipped breakfast there with her family is gone. After they vanished, the basement was still full of junk metal and glass. I thought about taking a big strange greenish bottle that caught my eye, but I couldn�t think what I would do with it. Someone else has it now, or it�s under the collapsed brick and concrete.

My chest still aches from the scooter accident on Sunday. That�s a bit of shiny metal I won�t be going near soon, though a walk with the pilot would do me good. I�m tired.


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