A bird in hand is worth two in the bush
A bush in hand is worth a chair
And a chair is worth a hack and a push
To plant it a house new and fair
So they sang, the first of the axe-wielders
And we said nothing, though the birds
Told us of their woes. But now your chippers
Take a hundred bushes for words
And worlds we do not know. The culled starlings
Taught us dread. Leave us as before –
One bird each in hand to give our feet wings
And two in the bush to yearn for.
This is a reprint of work originally published in Finished Creatures.
Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Bandit Fiction, Shot Glass Journal, Across the Margin, Panoplyzine, Feral, Literati Magazine, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her. Linktree: https://linktr.ee/HibahShabkhez.