Grief is a black parrot in my throat.
He doesn’t sing — he croaks.
His sounds move from his first loose
noise of caged utterance to his taut,
demonstration of tongue in beak.
And with his head-cocked eye,
sharp as knife, his pointed look
punctuates his rasping words.
What a pity! What a pity!
Put the pennies on the eyes.
Pieces of hate. Pieces of hate.
Close the box. Close the box.
His claws shuffle sideways. Nothing
can stop his ruffled dance, his grip
on his precarious perch, a wooden dowel
as frail as any bone in your body.