Words for Birds
by Monty Edwards
I have a cockatoo named Bert. I’m teaching him to talk.
For years the best that he could do was simply screech and squawk.
He made the most unpleasant sounds – I had to walk away.
I wondered which words would be best to get my Bert to say.
“A dictionary might help,” I thought, but that was clearly wrong:
To read right through a dictionary would take me far too long!
In any case, some words I found, I didn’t want to use,
Since words I couldn’t say myself were not the ones to choose!
My teacher knows a lot of words, but when I went to ask
What she’d suggest to be some words for such a tricky task,
The teacher only shook her head. “I really wouldn’t know,” she said.
That night before I went to bed, I thought to ask my Dad instead.
My Dad said: “Why not ask your Mum? If you want words, then she’s the one!”
So off I went to find my Mum, but words for birds? She gave me none.
Mum said: “Now son, it’s getting late. It’s time for bed!” Those words I hate.
It seemed I must accept my fate. To get her help I’d have to wait.
I went to bed. What could I do? I hoped that sleep might bring a clue.
A word. Just one. Perhaps a few. If only wishes could come true!
Next day I had a great idea. The place to start became quite clear.
The word was one Bert often heard and perfect for my noisy bird.
Perhaps you’d like to try to guess the word that brought me such success?
Before your brain begins to hurt, I’d better tell you. It was . . . “Bert”.
- Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #10
Author Comment: The idea for this poem came from “squawk” as a rhyme for the prompt word “talk”. Then, as I began to write, the ideas kept coming and determined the final destination.