First came a fear of cats
and a passion for pink,
bright scarves at her breast.
Then her voice cracked
quite suddenly, on Tuesday.
She’d always been a chatterer
but now chatter became chirp,
throat squeezed to chirrup –
message missed by the children.
By Thursday, they noticed that
she’d shrunk; Friday found her
perched on the coat rack
camouflaged by the feather boa
Polly wore to the New Year’s party.
Now, as vernal equinox approaches,
she bursts from the boa, feathers
fluttering, and she’s smaller still,
but bright and blushing in her new
pink apron, and he remembers her
as she was when he first knew her –
that feathered haircut was in fashion
and she flew at him for their first embrace.
Now, terrified, he sees her fly
in circles round the hall, the chirp
grown shriller, her eyes sprung sideways.
When she spots him, she seems as startled
by him as he is by her. They stare
at one another; her new beak opens
to peck at the seed sown years ago.
Then she flies hard at the closed window.