The Bird I Dreamed

red parrot painting

The bird I dreamed.


My mother, who died six years ago,

 drives me across a bridge.

I grab my suitcase,

roll my wheeled cart

out of the car’s back hatch.

At my destination

I open the case,

which I haven’t looked inside for several days.

Stuffed inside is a large parrot,

crimson with a deep black ring around its neck.

The bottom of the case is covered with droppings.

The bird is barely alive.

I give it water,

hand-feed it seeds and fruit

and wonder if my mother dismissed my creative feathered spirit

as I have neglected this beautiful creature.

Perched on the suitcase handle,

it spreads its wings….

This poem and painting resulted from a dream. After I wrote the poem about the dream, I used photos of parrots and photos I took of my sort-of-secret retreat along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, doing multiple sketches in various media before deciding on acrylic paint. The experience was a breakthrough in getting me back on track with my artistic life when my granddaughter began going to school every day, freeing up two more half-days a week.


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One response to “The Bird I Dreamed”

  1. judy jensen says :

    Lovely poem and image, Jill–

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