Audubon And Dickey

— Bonnie George

We like it when my parents play canasta with
Uncle Mike and Aunt Helen, because Nancy and I
Get to play with Cousin Michael and his huge dog
Mimi, a brown standard poodle

Sometimes we play at their apartment
Above Uncle Mike’s Chiropodist Office
Sometimes we play at our apartment
Above the family furniture store

But it’s different playing here…Mimi comes along
So Dickey Bird has to be locked in his cage and can’t
Happily sit and peck on Dad’s glasses or
Our large leaf-shaped mirror.

Never moving–just sits and stares at Dickey Bird
Mimi drools beneath my parakeet’s cage
We laugh and tease Mimi–and call her Audubon
Never thinking about Dickey

So Michael, Nancy and I are playing in the dining room
While our parents laugh and play in the living room–
I hear what sounds like a rage and run, seeing Chartreuse
Feathers flying but Dickey, frantic, is still locked in his cage

I cover it while Audubon continues to stare, knowing that
Dickey Bird is still there. Embarrassed, I peek to see
No one noticing my tears, as I turn away and sit to pet Mimi
Knowing I should have done that long ago

Tears taught empathy to me, not just for a bird
And having Dickey taught other things
Like finding an egg in his cage
Changed his name to Dickalina

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