Yard Sale

Marcy Greene, 1949–2009

One Sunday we found Annie on the floor of her cage
midway through a clutch
calcium starved with a soft egg lodged in the birth canal

I rushed to a hospital but no one would touch her
Hours later I found a vet who would
He removed the egg with a bit of blood and told me to keep her warm

She died in her cage overnight
I buried her in a shoe box covered with a Belgian block
to keep the squirrels from getting at her

I wish I had warmed her in bed with us, cuddled close with her flock
She had so much heart and wit. She delighted me and I loved her too
but it was Marcy who cried, a rare thing, and for the last time

I began giving things away early
Marcy's 1900 Pittsburgh directory
her ruby flash souvenir cups
the silver plate tea set from a childhood hotel

Someone noticed the care in the postcard album, her other collections
that they should be held and treasured
He forced seventy dollars on me
I would have paid him ten thousand to take them
Perhaps it was his kindness or just being out from under
Till then I could not redeem what was ripped from me with that final consent

back to issue