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BellaOnline Literary Review
Upset Parrot by Maurice Schulman



Carl Palmer

in the entry hall
after her hurried breakfast
she looks up expectant
each time the door slides open
searches the face of each visitor
for a smile of recognition
a familiar hug of reassurance

as her focus drifts to
an earlier time
her first summer job
junior assistant
at the animal shelter
her ward, a border collie
gray around its snout
always there waiting
as the young girl enters
hugs away fears
whispers in her ears
temporarily gives hope
that she’ll be whisked away
taken back home
from this place where
old abandoned dogs seldom leave

revived from her thoughts
as the familiar woman
from behind the front desk
comes around, leans down
wipes her cheeks, speaks softly
it’s past midnight, dear
time for your bed, as she
rolls her to her room

lying awake in the dark
her door swings open
the border collie walks in

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