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.