10 December – Romanticised robins

Every day the letter box resounds with a merry little crash
as Christmas cards from far flung friends drop in on the welcome mat.
Many depict idealised versions of crisp white winter scenes
with the miniature man in red, resplendent against lush evergreens.
His beak is usually open in song, as if carolling Christmas cheer,
but it’s far more likely he’s really shouting, “get away from here!”
For robins are feisty and fierce, defending their patches for all they’re worth,
and are the most unlikely characters to be singing of ‘peace on earth’!
It’s not surprising they’re romanticised when they perfectly fit Yuletide aesthetics,
but you have to laugh when you realise they’re chirping the equivalent of expletives…
I’m not suggesting robins should relinquish their role as chief festive bird,
but just that we laugh a little at ourselves for being so quaintly absurd.