THURSDAY: The Orphan, Birds of Paradise


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The Orphan

my mother brought home a sweet
little baby sparrow
small and helpless

I knew I could take care of it
it had most of its feathers
it ate well
it seemed healthy but the day before I
was going to take it

to the park to set it free
I forgot to turn up the heater
in its cage for the night and
the little bird froze to death
while I was sitting downstairs in
the living room drinking
cranberry juice
and vodka,

watching some stupid TV
program I
the next morning when I
went to check

my little
friend I found

him curled up in a huddle
in the corner of his
eyes still open

beak smeared with slime I will
never forgive or forget.

Birds of Paradise

wings pump but the body
won’t leave the ground. flight feathers
like fingers, become fingers, grasp
as the pieces of falling ice
fill the glass and it comes to her over the bar.

throws head back, screeches into the air
joins the raucous cry
of the bright-colored, leather – clad
flock. blinks
preens briefly
strikes perfect planned silhouette
takes another long sip of her drink.

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