I got a parrot once who said “mourning is not a competitive sport”

I got a parrot once who said “mourning is not a competitive sport”

Did I say parrot?  I meant parent.  I guess he knew whereof he spoke.

But he did not speak Wolof he spoke the “echt anglais”

And sometimes we didn’t speak to each other for days and days and days.


Now they’re all gone: the parent, the parrot, the Wolof

The dynasty that doesn’t even remember its greatest days

When tyrants in robes of sea-lion and shelk inscribe their punitive laws

And dark mythologies in the intricate hidden whirlings of a whelk.


Easy does it! said the last people left in town when the last train left

There’s no easy way to say this any more — we are just bereft.


5 thoughts on “I got a parrot once who said “mourning is not a competitive sport”

  1. Nostalgia for the absent, great people in our lives leaving a dark space in our spirits expressed in a poetry form. Mourning is not a competition, because everyone feels emotional deprivation in a different way.

  2. Susan says:

    Parents, siblings, peers and friends. Is the only degree of loss by the intensity felt or is it by the numbers? Bereft? Yes, that is the word. There is no one here who remembers the tales and the times of the parents, or of their children. Very soon there will be no one who feels bereaved, and no one who can tell the happy tales of those who used to be. To be the last person in town after the last train left? That is not a competition anyone would want to win.

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