Naomi Shihab Nye

The Lost Parrot

Carlos bites the end of his pencil
He’s trying to write a dream-poem, but waves at me, frowning

            I had a parrot

He talks slowly, his voice travels far
to get out of his body

            A dream-parrot?
            No, a real parrot!
            Write about it

He squirms, looks nervous, everyone else is almost finished
and he hasn’t started

            It left
            What left?
            The parrot

He hunches over the table, pencil gripped in fist,
shaping the heavy letters
Days later we will write story-poems, sound-poems
but always the same subject for Carlos

            It left

He will insist on reading it and the class will look puzzled
The clads is tired of the parrot

            Write more, Carlos
            I can’t

            Why not?

            I don’t know   where   it went

 spoken = Susannah Wood