Einstein’s Parrot

Sometimes reasons are hard to come by,

especially at 75. Look at Albert.

He arrives, scudding across Lake Carnegie

in his primitive skiff,

shouldering the oddest of his birthday gifts,

a mute and despondent parrot he calls Bibo.


I admire, he tells us, the rhythm of it

like scattering crystals or old Hungarian canticles.


He attempts to cheer it with bad jokes and happy piano blues.

Bibo, hopeless as a mitten in a moth hatchery,

holds his tongue, his theories on syntax

and the vernacular of alienation peculiar and private.

Should he ask for bread, Albert will give him cake.

Bibo wishes they would all think a little less and get on with it.



[First appeared on-line, Marginalia Journal, September 2005. 2 nd place poem, Creative Writers of Alabama, Spring Contest 2005. Citation Award, Montgomery Branch, National League of American Pen Women Contest, 2005. Special Honorable Mention, ByLine Magazine, Spring 2005 Contest.]