Almost unbearable having to wait
and wait in the terminal building
checking all-comers. A year it had been -
his job, mum said - but we knew him at once -
his features varnished - and raced to be first
at his side and allowed to uncover the budgie:
a fearful clatter of wings. Lupin.
Not used to us yet. And though we began
teaching him carols on the way home,
his cage balanced on our bare knees,
we soon went quiet, seeing how silly
our hopes had been. And he never spoke,
though he'd settle on my head while I did my prep
and lived with us years after Dad had left.