11,041 vagabonds plus:
artwork by Jeanie Tomanek
'Im not coming down and you can't make me', she yelled back at the house. 'They can have their caged birds and humorless bad poetry readings about caged birds bustin' out, and freedom and such', she whispered loudly to the white bird. 'You know, the ones on sanded wood stages with audiences watching the cigarette smoke rise and nodding their heads like they're worldly creatures. Thick and slow baritones dramatically pausing like tree sap through a clogged tap. So people decipher if they mean there their or they're, looking down at their shoes until someone coughs. And it's not so much the smoky filled room as everyone wondering if people notice how they're holding the cigarette. Make smoke come out of your ear and I'm your friend for life. I'm staying up here'.
'What's in the basket', the bird said.
'I'm carrying some lovely seed just for you,' she answered.
The bird shook it's smooth satin feathers, finishing with split-end feathers prime for a pillow, then looked at the odd woman's forehead, noticing how it resembled Sylvia Plath's smooth skin back in the glory days when its penciled-in flight path migration was window ledge landings of tormented writers, hanging on for dear life as strong winds blew between tall concrete high-rises.
'You said last time you'd wrote a panegyric poem for me', the bird said.
It reminded her, and her faced burned. 'They can have their damn poetry readings and leave me out. I'm not climbing down'.
'Yes. Yes, you just might lose your footing. You're not worthy of a dead poet', the bird said sadly.
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