Our furniture arrived in the middle of September. Two movers hefted and shoved and carried on their backs more possessions than any being should have to bear. They got it all in our house. I brought Poe home that night from Occidental. His eye was blind, his feathers falling out, he refused to preen or care for himself. He spent the night inside, afraid to leave his courier cage. In the morning he emerged and shit all over our dining room table.
He stayed with me while I unpacked boxes. I spread packing paper across the floor and he receded into it. Unable to see, he squawked and panicked whenever I approached him. He could no longer perch, so he sat on the papered floor.
In the day I set him up outside on the lawn and he caught sun. I fed him apples and cheese, that he no longer touched. In the evening, he hopped onto the porch and walked inside. The house was in chaos, boxes and junk everywhere. I felt sick to my stomach and so did he. His watery shit ran across the floor. His sounds were few, just feeble cries.
I apologized, but apologies don’t matter a whit. I couldn’t make it any better. I told him if he could meet me half way, I could help him. But I couldn’t do anything if didn’t want to make it better. It was his choice, I told him. And if it was too much to bear, he could end it.
All he felt from me was chaos and fear and anger. And in the end, perhaps it only left him bewildered.
Anna drove a night and a day to get to us. She had the chickens and dog and two of our cats loaded in with her, and I released them all hoping Poe would find them familiar friends and be happy for company. He hopped away and buried his body and head against the rocks.
I knew Anna didn’t want him in the house. So that night I set him on his perch outside. I gave him a sampling of meat and cantaloupe and water.
I told him everything would be alright. And that’s how I left him.