Therese Broderick

Month 5:28 “Upon Taking a Grape with Chopsticks”


Yesterday I sat long minutes
near an open bird cage, ounces
of gray cockatiel
resting on my sleeve and feeding
on a spill of millet seed.
Oh, so blunt and pink
his taffy-thick tongue!
Today I take from my plate
this one cool red grape,
lift it with a pair of
slim rosewood chopsticks.
Between my lips — what could be
a lizard’s muscle


ABOUT THIS POEM — At my sister’s house during the holidays, I fed her pet bird from my lap. I’ve never before been so close to a bird. One of my holiday gifts was a beautiful pair of chopsticks with which I now eat grapes, peas, pasta, chunks of bread, and anything else fit for chopsticks. I don’t know for sure that the chopsticks are made of rosewood. They resemble rosewood chopsticks photographed on internet shopping sites. The “yesterday” and “today” counterpoint is fictional; that is, almost a week passed between my feeding the bird and my lifting the grape.