Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Last Day

 Dawn Potter

In mourning the parakeet props his blue wings

awry, sourly fluffs his feathers; with a sort

of Willy Loman resignation he hunches his short

neck, his frail shoulders. Days past, he would sing


backup to any tune—the smoke alarm, the White

            Stripes, erupt into an avian scat solo, wild child

of cool, jazz messenger from the bestiary side.

            Now anyone can tell he’ll be dead before night


sifts down through these overripe maples, this sweet

            mosquito gloaming: slit eye plunging fathoms

through an empty sea, pale breast a shallow cavern

            of farewell, each tiny gasp a plummet


into dark; yet how long he takes to die!—death

killing pity even as it covets his brief, failing breath.

[forthcoming in How the Crimes Happened (CavanKerry Press, 2010)]

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