A parrot of irritation sits on my shoulder, pecks at my head, ruffling his feathers in my ear. He repeats everything I say, like a child trying to irritate the parent. Too much to do today: the dracena that's outgrown its pot, a mountain of bills to pay and nothing in the house to eat. Too many clothes need washing and the dog needs his shots. It just goes on and on, I say to myself, no one around, and catch myself saying it, a ball hit so straight to your glove you'd have to be blind not to catch it. And of course I hope it does go on and on forever, the little pain, the little pleasure, the sun a blood orange in the sky, the sky parrot blue and the day unfolding like a bird slowly spreading its wings, though I know, saying it, that it won't.