fffffThe parrot took me to school
not the other way around
though he was made of cloth
he lived
when teachers asked
Candy why do you have a parrot on your shoulder?
I turned, flashed a gap-tooth smile and said
what parrot?
squawk, squawk
the parrot, my secret captain
a life saver for drowning children
learning to swim without floatation device
thrown in the deep end at first a mouthful of water
then spectral lights and buoyancy
I, a reluctant pirate
ransacking empty ships
lest I become immortal
O heaven
when I turn around
he is no longer on my shoulder
smiling with glass eye and slightly damp feathers