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.