When a little parrot you have never seen before
trips clumsily over the fragment of a mung bean sprout
you have placed on the balcony ledge
of the resort you have brought your mother to, to celebrate her 82nd birthday,
you hold the rest of the mung bean sprout in the palm of your outstretched hand
and smile when that little parrot takes it and flies away,
its wings flapping once
like a wink.
That sentence was too long and I don’t know if I have punctuated it properly for poetry. But I do remember advising my creative writing students to use commas when they felt the need.
Ming, Meg and I spent some time together at this wonderful resort and, thanks to Wifi, my mother was able to receive the multiple birthday messages from family and friends. We all thought the little parrot would come back as it seemed so tame. Having taken multiple photos of a similarly tame-seeming kookaburra, it seemed inevitable that the little parrot would return for a photo shoot – ha.
I had seen Ants and fed him his lunch on the day I drove us down south to the beautiful resort. My mother and I were supposed to check in at 2pm but I was delayed because Anthony was in ‘agony’ (his unusually dramatic words, whispered to me) due to constipation. Once that the situation was remedied and he was back in his armchair and comfortable, I told him I was taking my mother out for lunch for her birthday.
Anthony: I think I might stay here.
Me: That’s fine, Ants. I’ll see you after the birthday lunch.
48 hours later, my mother and I arrived at the nursing home in time for me to feed Ants his lunch again. He didn’t appear to realise that I had been gone for longer than a day which was a blessing to me.
During our time at the resort, my mother and I basked in the luxury of the beautiful view, the wonderful wineries, the gift-shops where I found unusual wine glasses (my latest hobby). My mother found a fantastic onyx ring which absolutely made my day. And we walked through the rather magical gardens – just us the first time, then with Ming who came down laden with three varieties of Bailey’s Irish Cream – his birthday present for Grandma.
I saw the kookaburra once more, from a distance.
My mother recollected how much I cried and cried after placing Anthony in the nursing home and I admitted that I didn’t remember this phase. I know I can look back on my blog and re-see that pain but I don’t want to because it is all fine now; Anthony, Ming and I have accepted that it is what it is….
Happy birthday, my beautiful mother – thank you for your support and love for all of us, not just me. I have learned the most important life lessons from you – to be ready for anything and to always, always, get back up from a fall.
And I know that parrot’s address
like a wink….