Coming in from the night club
Starling was drinking in our front room
listening to Led Zeppelin on the radiogram.
He saw me, turned his feathery neck.
Too drunk for flight, he said,
go to bed before I do something I’ll regret.
He was wearing a photo of his daughter around his neck.
His skinny bird daughter, wings that never fledged.
I said, there should be a law against it,
and he said, aye. Aye.
The days Starling sang were the best, extraordinary.
We’d pile into his car and head off
past all the other cars, flying over their bonnets.
The car reeked of his singing.
There wasn’t a word for it,
something on the cusp of language — birdsong.
Sitting in the back, I heard all the notes
coming from deep in his throat,
saw the silver flecks in his feathers.
It was never dangerous sitting in the back
with the singing and the silver flecks.
BELINDA RIMMER’s pamphlet, Touching Sharks in Monaco, was a joint winner of the Indigo-First Pamphlet Competition (2019). In 2021 New Walk Editions published her pamphlet, Holding On. A chapbook, How To Be Silent was published this year by dancing girl press.