Audrey Ogilvie | Westport, ON | LCP member for six years


XANAX, EXOTIC BIRDS

& OTHER FORMS OF CRISIS MANAGMENT

When I caught the news flash
That an orchard filled with
Vampire Parrots had been discovered by a nun
I got through on the jungle telegraph
And ordered a pair.
Fed-Ex packaged them appropriately and
A box wrapped in gray canvas
Came to my verandah
Quickly and in perfect condition.
Jet lagged I suppose, the birds
With their pale Martha Stewart plumage
Wiggled neatly into a standard fishing net
And took up residence in the purple martin hotel
At the foot of the garden.
I cruised on the high of new responsibility
And feigned calmness when I suddenly saw
Their distinctive profiles
On the edge of a basket of
A low flying hot air balloon.
Together they glanced downward at
My frantic semaphore
Conducted with clenched fists
And they dive bombed into a patch of poppies
Where they whiled away the afternoon.
I nibbled a palm-full of pharmaceuticals
And gave up on trying to secure
Some deadly nightshade
The dietary staple of my unusual twins.
A neighbour, Daisy Lamb, delivered a casserole of
Sweetbreads steeped in port.
The birds perched on a black rococo table
And ate in the melon light of sundown.
It seemed their taste for blood
Had temporarily receded
As had my own.

***
Audrey Ogilvie has been published in periodicals in the UK, the US and Canada. She recorded Canary, a poetry CD and had a chapbook, Enough White Lies to Ice a Cake published in Burlington, Vermont in 2008. She has also written two full-length novels that are in various stages of submission.

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