• Joanna Seldon

  • Metamorphosis


    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.