The fishing has finished. It is the beginning
of hunting season. It is the time to pick apples
and the time to make cider.
A lost flock of Sebastopol geese
shuffle from a pond on Stephen's Green.
They do not know that it is Michaelmas.
Their eyes are ocean blue, their down
a flounce of soft white curls, matted
under filthy blankets and damp cardboard.
The streets are impractical
for their gaudy orange slippers. When handled
carefully, they are chatty and gregarious
but when ruffled, can be haughty and raucous.
Some gorge on blackberry cider,
sickly-sweet as if the devil himself had pissed in it.
Others place stones on their tongues,
to muffle their honking, so they can peck
undetected in the bins outside McDonald's.
More settle in Georgian doorways,
beak under wing, with scribbled petitions
hung from their gizzards.
These geese now bedizen the city, perennially,
like the blue and purple hues of Michaelmas daisies
that grow in wayside places, with no care at all.
(Highly Commended in the iYeats Poetry Competition 2015)