Family by Stephen Daniels

A murder crows through the trees
of my family and swallows the news.
The magpie hoards the half-truth headlines:

No wings and a tendency to drugs.

They gather to collect the crumbs
of a wasted life, to mourn the journey
of carrier pigeons whose messages failed.

I fly through them all, over the violence
and small talk. Squawks squeeze distance.

“My mum is dead, my mum is dead”.

My family smile, forget the dysfunction.

Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry ( and the Secretary for Poetry Swindon. His poetry has been published in various magazines and websites, including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems, Your One Phone Call. You can find out more at @stephendaniels

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