Kalyna Review

Laryssa Wirstiuk



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