Posted by: alegra22 | November 18, 2007

The Secret of a Greedy Parrot

My mind is a greedy parrot, paranoid and accustomed to its small cage. It paces and speaks in tongue, flinging sunflower seeds through the bars and crapping on the mirror given to it for company and amusement. I love my parrot. Sometimes I want to kill it and it keeps me up at 3 a.m. with its squawking, but still, its feathers are beautiful and mismatched to its psychotic crusty personality and I love this. The thing about the parrot is this…




I press my forehead into Zaviera’s and I am floating, beneath me shadows and rocks waver, my feet move effortlessly in the water and I kiss the black rubber of the inflatable tube that holds my 7 year old self suspended in an ocean of possibility. Some day I will learn to swim, but in this moment, the possibility of drowning is what makes me aware of the taste of salt and the smell of creatures, movement, and the future.




Sol strokes my cheek and his eyelashes are full of transparency and need…he whispers: I love you mommy. And pulls himself as close to me as he can get, a monkey boy clinging to a tree during a cyclone. In our small space of body against body, we are calm and warm.


In these moments, the parrot grows still and opens its wings and it becomes something wild and dignified. It does not squawk or mumble, its pupils dilate and the universe shifts.


Last night I dreamt that Sol had cancer. I woke up my face wet from crying in my sleep. I had been dreaming the type of dreams that aren’t recycled commercial jingles, plots, or mental landfill. I was dreaming the kind of dreams that cross the boundaries between wake and sleep, pulling life up from its roots and showing me that with a little watering, a little fertilizer, this garden will grow and provide and flourish.


So I had trouble believing, in the middle of the night, that my heart wasn’t being ripped out of my chest. I went into Sol’s room and was afraid to touch him but I climbed into his small bed and felt his feet search out my legs, his hand reaching instinctively for my cheek and I remembered:


The day beneath the clouds, surrounded by mountains and a sky sharp with clarity, I held Sol as the sound of earth hitting a small coffin repeated itself over and over and over.


That day, I remember praying and hearing, with the sound of my friend’s child being buried, these words:


Do not worry, your son will bury you.

And I saw it, I saw Sol as a man and I knew he would be fine.


This morning, I feed my parrot something fresh and delicate and I wink at it, knowing it will tear the delicacy to shreds and crap on it. But I know its secret and it knows I know and because of this, we get along together in the way that only two kindred spirits can.




  1. Lovely. The simple analogy of a Parrot is a perfect fit for you. I could never imagine you squawking though…I lie. I could fully see you squawking like a mad spanish parrot (if there is such a thing) throwing all these spanish words at Dan and the kids and expecting them to know exactly what your trying to tell them.

    Every parent, I feel, has that fear of their children passing before them. It’s the classic case of “When you have children, you will understand why I worry about you sooooo much”…you don’t know. When your a kid you have no idea what your parents are on about. That constant concern about the health and well being of your child. Our dreams often reflect our consious and sub-consious thoughts. I am constantly concerned about the well being and futures of my own daughters. I hate that they have to grow up!

    I’d like to think that my knidred spirit is some sort of feline…maybe a black panther or a fat lazy tabby…don’t laugh!

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