Alone No More
Fool needs someone he can talk to,
someone to share his downs and
really downs. He settles for a parrot,
a green and yellow macaw he’s told
speaks only Yiddish. “Schmuck!” it says
when he laments the money down the drain,
the water over the dam. “Putz!”
it barks over the upset apple carts
and spilt milk. The Groucho smile
on its beak leads Fool to look up
those words, and then some others.
“Momzer!” he fires back, “kucker!”
Fool feels they’ve found a droll way
of expressing mutual affection,
maybe love. “Nebish,” they squawk
at one another simultaneously
over a shared walnut. It’s a fair swap
for the human touch, he thinks, till one day
the bird falls silent. “Fortz,” Fool antes
and reantes, to no avail. After a month,
he calls about a refund, but the clerk
says there’s a 30–day limit on parrots.
That night, Fool finds the parrot sitting
on four gray eggs, which it later hatches
into a quartet of little shiltners. Soon
there’s a banqueting of Schmendrick!
Mishugena! and Kish m’in toukhes!.
William Trowbridge’s books are Enter Dark Stranger, O Paradise, Flickers, and The Complete Book of Kong. His poems have appeared in such periodicals as The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, The Georgia Review, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner. He lives in the Kansas City area, and teaches in the University of Nebraska low–residency MFA in writing program.
Poem © 2007 William Trowbridge. All other content copyright © 2007 ByrenLee Press
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