Melanie Daniels Smokes a Cigarette in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds
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.
We know that a convenient escape
a riot of claws. She knows
this too, and is not wrong.