Milling about before the clinic
opened for a routine blood test,
I walked through a flurry of parakeets,
ducking as they swooped to feed
on blueberries & sunflower seeds,
& thought of when I snuck round
to unlock a neighbour’s shed door,
having heard exotic birdsongs
for weeks on end, only to be showered
in feathers & pierced by squawks,
& how I gawked like a collector
fascinated by nametags, descriptors
& dashes of cobalt & lime-green,
before turning to leave & tell no one.

Anna Loughran lives in England and is studying for an MA at Loughborough University. Her pamphlet, Chords of Inquiry, is with Lifeboat Press, who also published Queering the Green: Post-2000 Queer Irish Poetry, in which her poems are included.
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