A Journal of Formal & Metrical Verse

Los Periquitos

For Rhina Espaillat

The parakeets of Brooklyn beat the cold
by building homes near incidental heat.
They hunt for laundry vents, the gaps in old
facades, or humming coils above the street,
then stake their fragile claims with twigs and scraps
they take from roofs and sidewalks. Joyously,
they mate in maple trees, and dodge the traps
of easy birdseed and security.

Though this unlikely flock delighted fans,
consultants argued it would not survive.
They later pushed eradication plans—
supposedly so native breeds could thrive.
We should have known these studies were a waste,
for true New Yorkers cannot be displaced.

A.M. Juster, Featured Poet