Melanie Daniels Smokes a Cigarette in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds by Aaron Brame

This is dramatic irony.
We know what she does not—
the crow, the horrid hop,
the jungle gym a host of claws.

She is dazed, pale of complexion.
Fetching in her green suit,
But facing the wrong direction.

We see the murderous bunch converge
in hibbeldy-hobbeldy disarray
while she worries that cigarette away.

Then one errant raven grabs
her eye, and irony ends.  In the
flock-darkened day, she sidesteps away
and is safe.

But we know that a convenient escape
portends devastation,
a riot of claws. She knows
this too, and is not wrong.


Aaron Brame teaches English at a private school in Memphis, Tennessee. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Straight Forward, Pembroke Magazine, and Avatar Review, and his essay about witnessing the Challenger disaster was published in Greenhaven Press’s Perspectives on Modern World History. He has a writing degree from Rhodes College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in literature from the University of Memphis. He lives with his wife and two children in Memphis. 

© 2014 Aaron Brame