Yvette Doss

Incessant Parrots
If only I could stopWanting it allI would awake at dawnSit on unforgiving and icy floorsCount my breath for hoursChase out impure thoughtsDrive away jealousy, insecurity, needListen, with no opinion,To the incessant, chattering wild parrotsThat cackle so loudlyOutside my windowDay and nightWithout fail,Disrupting my concentration,My clumsy attempts at meditation.They say the first of themEscaped from a pet shopThat was ablaze.Survivors, their ancestors were.They say they number in the thousands now,In this temperate part of Southern California,The lime green and yellow creatures.If only I could experience themWith no thought of quietingTheir infuriating discord, ofChasing them awayTo someone else’s neighborhood.If onlyI could.If only I could stopWantingTo be lovedWantingTo feel cherished.I would open my windowAnd invite the parrots inFor a snackOf bread crumbsAnd sunflower seeds.I would be gracious.I would.I might even straddle the windowsillAndTake to the airWith them,Open my mouth wideTo contributeto the collective din,spread my arms,and fly.

Owl's Prayer
Discombobulated owl, upon awakening at duskand spotting Hawk aboveclimbing clouds and scaling streaked skies,fierce and glorious, swift and spry,put his wings together and prayedfor a wider span, heightened speed,a life vaster, larger, better.
But then, upon spying dun-colored Moledown below, eyes crossed and useless,nosespray whiskers guiding him, lumbering,home to damp dark earthworm dens below,tunnels tight, cramped, chilled,morsels of moist grubs waiting,put his wings together and prayedto give thanks for the eyes on his wide owl facethat allow him to watch Hawkcavorting in skies crimsoned by the setting sun.

Yvette Doss is a graduate student in the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at the University of California at Riverside. Her non-fiction and essay writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Ms. Magazine, the San Jose Mercury News, and on NPR radio. She has poems forthcoming in Wild Goose Poetry Review, Chantarelle's Notebook, and Brooklyn & Boyle.