Munching Nabisco Premium Saltines
and perched on my shoulder, Budgie
was a shortened form of his species.
I was just a kid and already smitten
with his lime belly and lemon head,
nibbling beak on my ear and neck.
My dad would allow Budgie to fly
throughout our home, unsupervised
from perch to perch: for me too high.
One summer afternoon my Babcia
opened a side door to call to grandpa,
who was smoking by a tiger lily patch.
Knowing that my bird was flying free,
I begged for Babcia to close the screen,
but he escaped as I screamed, “Budgie!”
I pushed Babcia away and ran outside,
wondering: had he felt so confined
that he would take a chance at survival?
I ran past my grandpa with his cigarette
to the garage where I kept my butterfly net
and stepped without concern into the street.
Either I would find Budgie or he would return
to my shoulder and relieve my concern
for him and every bird in the sky they deserve.
About the author
Laryssa Wirstiuk lives in New Jersey with her mini dachshund Charlotte Moo. Laryssa’s collection of short stories The Prescribed Burn won Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published in Gargoyle Magazine, Word Riot, Barely South Review, and Up the Staircase Quarterly. http://www.laryssawirstiuk.com