My father, bored as a parrot

by Julia Webb

but with duller feathers,
pecks at the bars of his cage
and my fingers when I open the door
for an attempted rescue.
Fuck off, he squawks, fuck off fuck off!

My father, whose head blooms
like an exploded firework,
who excels in all his gunpowder colours,
can’t come to the door because today
is his day for ironing his work trousers.
I put my mouth to the letterbox
to try and coax him out.
Come back next week, he shouts.

My father is caught in the matrix
of his mind, he spends days, weeks,
trying to find a way back out,
sometimes his screen goes inexplicably black,
sometimes his program freezes,
sometimes the only way to reach him
is to switch him on and off.

My father, the budget supermarket
likes his food organic
but prefers not to pay through the nose,
his aisles are strip lit and cluttered,
you can’t always find what you need.

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