Parrot Talk


If I had a parrot, I would teach her to say I love you in 64 languages.

I would train my perpetual toddler to be the voice of God.

I would teach her to say “Hello,” “Goodbye,” and “Why thank you dear one.”

On her beak, would be the words: glorious, sunrays, and pillow lips.

I would teach her various accents so when I have a bad day, she can lighten the mood with a southern twang.

Or when I am feeling like I need my morning coffee and conversation, I would teach her a jersey accent dripping with quirky honesty.

If I had a parrot, I would teach her to be the holy spirit of birdies. Always saying the right thing at the right time.

I would never fight in front of a parrot lest she mimic us in an argument and our harsh words are spoken back to us.

If I had a parrot, I would teach her to coo and speak to her in motherese. I would play all kinds of music for her except the blues, because I don’t want to be reminded of man’s brutality to man.

I would let her dance to Stevie Wonder and the greatest Motown hits and all the sweet songs of the 70s.

If I had a parrot, I would pet her saffron chest and royal blue feathers and make her birthday cakes of fruits and seeds.

Not a day would go by when I didn’t have a heart to heart with her about her life’s musings. I would buy her a telephone and teach her how to dial my number so when I am away at work I could call her and just say hello.

I don’t have a parrot. But I have you, and you are all grown up.

After reading my poem about parrots, I asked the class what are some of your favorite words that you would want to teach a parrot. All kinds of words came up. Everyone says the most beautiful words in the English language are cellar door because of the way it sounds, however, I personally take issue with this. I can’t help but think of dust when I think of a cellar door. Maybe even dead bodies. Some of my favorite words are wackadoodle, samurai, and pumpernickel bread. The class decided to rewrite the poem in their own way and with their own animals. One chose to write about dogs, but others chose parrots, perhaps because that was the poem they had just heard. Some made their poems about parrots rhyme and they sounded so much better than my original poem. We discussed whether poems have to rhyme, and I said no poems don’t have to rhyme, but certain poems do sound better if they rhyme. One child taught a parrot to say “Batman” in a deep voice! His poem was wonderful.


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