Feathers

“Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul” — - — Emily Dickinson

Denise Clemen

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Photo by Milin John on Unsplash

Perched on the back of a dining room chair, the parrot’s tail feathers trailed almost to the floor.

Addie had just awakened from her afternoon nap, but she wondered if, perhaps, she might only be dreaming that she was awake. She wanted to know more about this borderland between sleep and waking, where she seemed to spend so much time lately, but the sight of the parrot in her dining room was to be savored, not wasted while she went off on some tangent. She said hello to the bird and it said hello back. “Hello,” Addie said again, testing to see if it was simply parroting her. “I’m Addie.” The parrot cocked its head and blinked.

“I didn’t die,” the parrot said.

“I’m glad to hear that,” Addie said, “but what do I call you? What’s your name?”

“Nathan,” the parrot said.

“Where’s home, Nathan?”

“Washington Avenue,” the parrot said, bursting into tears. Well, not tears exactly — but crying. The parrot began to sob. It was one of the saddest things Addie had ever heard. She went to the kitchen to see if she could find the bag of walnuts that she meant to use when she’d baked cookies for her grandchildren. Maybe the poor bird was hungry. When she…

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Denise Clemen

Birth/first mother, recovering wife, retired caregiver, traveler, collage artist. Advocate of #adopteerights and #reproductiverights and other good things.