Birds in the nest, mouths agape,
sharp beaks stretch out from the home,
that washing line taut between supports,
each craning neck jostling their neighbours,
and spring-loaded eyes searching the skies,
expectant of feeding but never fulfilled.
Their mother, uncaring of their silent cries,
returns only to burden her children
with the duty to hold the dripping clothes,
no longer crows aligned on a wire
but snagging the sails in the winnowing wind,
locked jaws of determination.
These simple toys of a child’s imagination,
the snapping muzzles of invented beasts,
disappear from our lives as the laundry
opts for the comforts of the dryer.