Jamie O’Halloran

Jackdaw, John Gould


Jackdaw, jackdaw, how did you die?
    Your one bright eye, ivory and clear.

Victim or bride under your wing
    with her breast open bloomed

a turned spindle of spine. Jackdaw,
    jackdaw what took your life?

Did that one ivory eye see to this end?
   Did the victim trap you under her wing?

Was your home place too big, jackdaw,
   jackdaw? Your beak isn’t charred.

Your feathers still shine. Jackdaw, jackdaw,
   what took your song?


My lap fills with poems and fist
as it did that night with moonlight.

That last winter, lonely and swaddled
in a cast-off Shetland, forest green,

I held myself with worry the gas would go.
After the new year broke in, she arrived

one morning bearing camellias.
She with the long-standing man

and lacking all sentiment carried flowers
where none had been given to bloom.

Jamie O’Halloran is an American-Irish poet whose Corona Connemara & Half a Crown was awarded a winner in the 2021 Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition. Her poems appear most recently in Southword, Skylight 47 and The Honest Ulsterman. She lives in the West of Ireland.

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Spring 2022