What the antique shop’s stuffed parrot has been dying to say for a hundred years.

By Kate Simblet

I once flashed a brilliance through canopies of trees. A dazzle of colour, fluttering free. Quills handsome, preened –  now drab, shabby-faded. Beauty as fragile as youth.

You trapped me, caged me, a century ago. Life behind bars until finally the slit – I was gutted. You dug out my eyes, tweezered my brain, bound wings with metal, stilled me forever. It takes more than your wire to mend this broken heart.

I perch amongst artefacts, watch with glass eyes, you’ve feathered your nest from Victorian crimes – ivory, the plume trade, taxidermy.

How do you sleep?

Pretty Polly’s appalled.

Do I have to repeat? 

Kate Simblet (she/ hers) social works by day and plays with words by night. Lives in Brighton loves the sea.

Words here and there including Free Flash Fiction, @nffd The Write-in, @paragrahplanet, @pigeonreview, Reflex Fiction Winter longlist.