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POEM: cut bird


cut bird

the parrot was quiet all day
while the man and his friend talked
(they were at the friend’s house
where the parrot had lived
since being handed down
by the friend’s father)
then it was time for the man to practice
as soon as he blew the first note
the bird let out an angry squawk
so the man blew louder
but the bird kept pace, piercing the air
the man was angry now
this damn bird was going to–
then he remembered
when he played the saxophone
at his own home
he practiced with the window open
accompanied by the songs of the birds
in the oak tree outside
he’d learned one of the songs
now he played it on his saxophone
the parrot stopped squawking
started repeating the melody
the man tried little variations
the parrot matched him note for note
for the next twenty minutes
they danced around
long lines of melody helixed like DNA
this parrot, thought the man with a smile
just might be the greatest horn player
I’ve ever heard

Auburn AL

/ / /

This poem is based on a true story told to me by saxophonist Brian Settles (interview). The image at the top of this post is from ‘s albums.

Published in Auburn Jazz Music My poems Poem-A-Day 2013 Poetry


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