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Eddie's Parrot

As he jiggled the key in the lock

each evening he returned home from work,

his cued, quick parrot began to squawk,

Where’s Eddie? Where’s Eddie? Where’s Eddie?

til my uncle barreled through the door—

Honey, I’m home! (his vaudevillian’s joke)—

to let that straight man chew one knuckle.

Then Eddie died, and Aunt Anna swore

that chatterbox screeched rote rhetoric

every time she trudged back from the store,

creating a tenth circle of hell,

Where’s Eddie? never allowing her

a moment’s respite from grief, though she

told that feathery philosopher

He’s dead. Eddie’s dead. But such a swell-

educated Hegel couldn’t quit—

Where’s Eddie? Where’s Eddie? Where’s Eddie?

and Anna, grown foulmouthed, psychotic,

He’s dead, he’s goddamned dead!—til one dusk

she snapped and stormed that Catskill comic’s

stage, rattling bars till the stunned parrot

sprawled from his spotlit plank, his scrambled

brain dumb now among split seeds, carrot

shreds, such sad confetti!—the silence

sweet, my prankster uncle gone for good.

from Darling VulgarityFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2006
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Michael Waters Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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