FNS: Cockatiel Not You

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Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s poem is from Sean Lause


Cockatiel,
not you,
a yellow and orange
assertion.
Bright with her own meanings,
clatters round the outside
of her cage, without fear,
flourishing her freedom.

Her eyes, seeds of darkness,
see all that is not
you, see you too, see
dual worlds, one on each side,
her head a ball turret,
tail a trailing spear,
feather in her cap.

She whistles “Whataru?”
won’t wait for an answer,
explores the floor,
foraging as she goes,
mounts the top of an armchair
renowned for its emptiness,
spreads her wings and sings
her triumph, not yours.

Outside the wide window,
madness screams in the trees.
But she sings and sings, so expertly,
the madness is not yours.


Sean Lause teaches courses in Shakespeare, Literature and the Absurd and Medical Ethics at Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio. His poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, The Alaska Quarterly, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Another Chicago Magazine, European Judaism, The Pedestal, Atlanta Review and Poetry International. His first book of poems, Bestiary of Souls, was published in 2013 by FutureCycle Press.

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