Dog and Bird Act

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Dog and Bird Act

What could be more romantic
than my mother playing
Johnny Mathis constantly?

Then Dad, drunk in his
plumbing clothes (jeans and a workshirt),
surrounded by beer breath,
opened the cage in the dining room.

Dad scared out Mom’s pet
parakeet, pretty Dickybird,
in a wild night at our house.

The green bird fluttered to
the mantel while
Dad taunted the dog.
“Get the birdie! Come on!”

The dog barked excitement.
Dad pushed the bird from
the knick-knacks on the mantel.
The tame bird hopped to the rug.

“Get the birdie! Come on!”
We boys cried no,
together in the living room.
The bird hopped again,
couldn’t fly, and
all our family ran shouting.

Then the black dog pounced
on the bird on the rug.

The young dog strutted
with Mom’s pet in its teeth.
“Grr Grr,” sang the proud dog
of its kill. Boy, was
Dicky stiff and green
in Roscoe’s mouth,
in our black dog’s head-
shaking, high-stepping prance of
triumph through the house.

Dad chuckled and sighed,
red-faced, weary on the floor.

Mom cried in the kitchen,
after the screaming and
chase through the house.