But I'm Tickled to Find That “Parliament” Actually is the Official Collective Term for a Great Load of Owls


A kindle of kittens, a knot of toads.
Pounds gather, too; a pod my thighs, a skulk on my belly.
A covey across my upper back.
Have you seen a murder of crows? A troubling of goldfish?
Starlings are a murmuration.
Five pounds together -- nonsense.
Ten pounds is an inconvenience. Fifteen, a size.
Twenty could be an achievement, or diabetes.
Thirty's a herd, a swarm, a flock. A confusion of weasels.
Forty pounds is a child clinging to my neck. Also a revelation.
Owls live in a parliament. A group of squirrels is a dray.
Fifty pounds or more is a colony; living, excreting, expanding on my body.
A glut, a darkness. Do pounds rally for gaieties sake?
Strength in numbers? Or for the comfort of squeezing
together in the love seat, a pint of ice cream, watching the late show.