Today's poem is by Esther Morgan

At the parrot sanctuary

our presence disturbs their sleep:
heads bob and weave,
beaks biting the wire.

Some have plucked the feathers
from their tails,
their breasts,
as if trying to find out love.

Bright eyes stare out
from circles of wizened skin,
fix us,

and then the dead begin to speak:

a chorus of greetings and goodbyes,
nicknames, profanities,
the ghost of a woman's laugh.

No one can live long
with this ventriloquy,
voices thrown from the dark.

Not us,
who leave them quickly to their cages,
to the silence that only comes
when we are gone.

Copyright © 2005 Esther Morgan All rights reserved
from The Silence Living in Houses
Bloodaxe Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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