the neighbour’s children –

the little girl who sings
sweet voiced with wonder
and her brothers who play cricket
keep dogs  feed street cats

they are lined up
with two friends and a servant
in front of their alsatian

tied and seated upright
he has their pet parrot
clamped in his jaws –
the open cage
beside him –

snapping over
his mouthful
of feather and bone

…scarlet flash of beak

alarmed squawk
stiff folding flutter of green
cracking wing feathers
vainly outstretching
as the dog
gags to swallow

meanwhile the children
shriek and goad
a rhythmic chant

come blackie, go, yes
come blackie, go

back and forth
gleeful in


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