MEETING THE FAMILY (by Cliff Yates)

He says something
witty
about the budgie.

They smile.
He is smiling so much
that his cheeks ache.

He crosses his legs
and kicks the budgie
into the fire.

She screams.
It is not
a good start

to the evening.
It is not easy
to make conversation

with charred feathers
floating
about the room.

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