My mother kept a singing bird, just for herself In the kitchen By the door In a cage.
She fed it herself and talked to it at 68. What woman speaks to a bird, perhaps one who knows and understands.
All the peaks and trills, the notes of song she heard. She knew its moods and tunes, she sang along. Their ritual of conversing while washing up and dry with dishcloth or cooking or baking her special recipe apple pie.
Every night, she covered the cage with a blanket to keep warm the singing bird and so the kitchen light would not disturb and in the morning, she took it off again.
Then with silence broken by welcome twitter, she would tell her grey and black wonder of her plans whilst at chores. When at elevenses, she sat near the door with hot tea and cookie, she'd offer crumbs stare ahead, a dreamy smile.
One day the bird died and into her dishcloth, she cried.