Friday, November 11, 2011

I coughed and he died

I remember mother’s bird in a cage above my head
to the left of my cradle from an infant’s perspective.
He lived between sill and kitchen cupboard 
in one of four corners framing a table
four chairs and a bench. A downy green feather 
fell in my mouth. I coughed and he died
I remember him singing. A high cracking voice.
He could speak only Tuesdays. Very dark eyes.
He bobbed his head while drinking water.
I began to forget when he left; for years.
I was younger than one, only asked once 
where he had gone. He flew away to live in the jungle.
Admiring his courage I took over his place
bobbing my head when drinking water
trying to sing with a bird's high-pitched voice
forgetting why. I never wondered why.
And I kept trying. One day I gave in
learnt how to fly. Now I remember.