Register Sunday | March 18 | 2018

Several Possible Explanations for the Appearance Then Disappearance of A South African Parakeet in Western Labrador

A poem


It was a stowaway,

a colourful hat worn through customs

by the daughter

of an immigrant mining family.


It flew out of a couch's pastel

patterns, a musty

living-room spirit drawn to the wallpaper's vines.


It was perpetual: it poked

holes in the children's snowsuits.

It talked to shovels, the snow puddles

drying in the porch. It was curiosity

all covered with feathers:

summer trying to understand

the thermometer's fall.


It must have looked at winter

with the ambition

of a suntan salesman:

seeing its chance to make millions,

it flew out an open window,

flapping like an assembly of flags.


It was a collection of salvation

army handkerchiefs,

a hang-glider in a hailstorm,

a sea urchin arguing

with an assembly of waves.


It must have flown for blocks:

its lungs going asthmatic,

drying like wrinkled apricots

while the chambers of its heart

migrated to opposite poles.


It disappeared into us,

into the extended forecast,

the woods' imagination,

the street lights' stationary tribe.