—Donal Mahoney, St. Louis, MO
Moving from Chicago to Missouri wasn't easy
but breeding Lady Goulds kept me sane
for many years—well, almost.
I was writing then to make a living.
All day I'd rearrange other people's words.
I needed Lady Goulds to look at
in the evening and most weekends.
Otherwise I might have married
some nice lady for the wrong reason.
Right now, a canary helps me dance
away the years or days or hours
I have to face before
I take on a cane or walker.
The canary calls the dawn with glee.
Lady Goulds, you see, don't sing.
They don't have to.
All they have to do is sit there
as if Mondrian painted them
or God lifted a pinkie on the 7th day.
The beauty of the Lady Gould,
some say, is the result of evolution.
There was no grand designer,
most scientists maintain.
The Lady Gould is one big accident
that happened eons ago.
I find it comforting to stare at them
and know otherwise.