I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

SailBoat

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I plan for this to be the first of many segments as part of this Thread regarding my joy of Amazons and what I have learned over the many years from my Amazons and the leaders in the Avian field that I have met and exchanged thoughts and ideas. It will never be about me, only the Amazons I have met and others that have shared their life with me. Enjoy my fellow Lover's of Amazons!

This first segment is rightfully Titled:

I Love Amazons!

Table Of Contents​

1. I Love Amazons Page 1
2. Correct Food for an Amazon Page 2
3. Baggage - Rehomed Pray Page 2
4. Getting to the Foot of the Problem Page 3
5. Re-Fledging an Adult Parrot Page 4
6. Re-Starting a Shutdown Amazon Page 4
7. Help, My Amazon is Falling Apart Page 4 & 5
8. Amazon Sounds Page 5
9. Passing of a Feathered Friend Page 5
10. Dry Tongue - Wet Tongue Page 5
11. A Parrot's Droppings can be an Early Indication of Illness Page 5
12. Recovering Critical Flight Feathers Page 6
13. Special Needs Parrots, Limited Sight and a New Home Page 6
14. How much Chocolate will it take to Kill My Parrot Page 6
15. Developing Strong Bonds - Pin Feathers Page 6
16. Twelve Hours of Quiet Sleep & Darkness Page 6
17. Candles and Parrots Page 7
18. Getting your Amazon more Active Page 7
19. Rescuing Amazons is not for the Faint of Heart Page 8
20. Unrealistic Expectations Unsatisfactory Decisions Page 8
21. Will the Real Organic Parrot Food Please Standup Page 8
22. Cage Set-up 101 Page 8
23. Preventing Larva in Parrot Food Page 10
24. Stop Buying Very Young Parrots Page 10
25. Highly Contagious Avian Diseases Page 10
26. The Sound of Flight Page 10
27. New Things just Show-up Page 11

Veterinarian /Medical Care of Amazons Section
28. Signs of Illness in Parrots Page 11
29. Who is Responsible for Your Amazon's Vet Care Page 12
30. Developing a Well-Bird Historical Document Page 12
31. Preparing for Your Amazon's First Avian Veterinarian Visit Page 12
32. Yearly Blood Test Page 13
33. Quarterly Veterinarian Visits Page 13
34. Preparation for a Sick-Bird Veterinarian Visit Page 13
Emergency First Aid Kit Page 14​
 
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SailBoat

SailBoat

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I Love Amazons!

Over the years, I have enjoyed the company of the full cross-section of large parrots, nearly all well loved by their owners. I am often asked; which is my favorite and without hesitation, I state that my favorite is that raucous group of parrots known as Amazons. The common second question is: WHY Amazons? They are so difficult!

Difficult? What is so difficult about Amazons! At this point, the questioner commonly tells any number of stories of the much-fabled Flaming Hot Three, The Hormonal Maniacs, The Screaming Monsters, The Flesh Devouring Vampires, The Territorial Hoarders, and The Cruel Divider of Families. Stories, Stories and more Stories of that fabled New World Green Killer!

Then I begin asking questions — commonly the bird or birds in question had been purchased on the quick and far more commonly, the cheap. The new owner was provided little or no information, let alone what constitutes a healthy meal or proper living quarters, then surprise, surprise the little green bundle turns into a Mass Murderer! It would be truly humorous, if not for the part where they dump the bird!

It must be a new fault in the Human personality or a recent failure in our rearing of Humans, which has resulted in the growing number of Humans that believe that life requires nothing more then simply wanting something for it to magically be that way. Possibly, it’s the affect of the wonders of modern technology - that fresh from the box - instance gratification of extremely complicated technology that by simply adding batteries, plugging it in, or connection to the net and ‘It Works’! Gratifying our momentary want, before we whisk onto our next want. Whatever happened to actually having to work for something? Reality Check: Living Things do not function that way. Surprise, you have to work at having a ‘Successful Relationship’ with Living Things!

Amazons Are Simple! All you have to do is pay attention and they will clearly tell you what is working and what is not. Amazon’s tell you like it is, no rouse, no guessing, no game playing, just to the point, the way it is! All we Humans have to do is to use only a small percentage of our enormous brains and simply be observant. How hard is that? You would think that we are asking a Human to cut-off their arms and legs!

That same Amazon, now having lived though the passing from one dead-end relationship after another, with stops between in those wonderful places called “House of Horrors” or more commonly referred to as Pet Stores, can by luck or divine intervention find its way into a true home. You know, one of those seemly rare places in which individuals value each other and contribute to their abilities. There, that Green Mass Murderer, by great transformation, becomes the love of that family’s life. How can this be? A Vampire to a Lover, what Storybook can this be from?

There is no storybook - it is simply why I love Amazons. Through all the past miss-treatment with a little bit of love, understanding and observation they are the “Come Back Kid’s” of the Avian World. It can even occur in the same home that had defined that Amazon as the New World Green Killer. Is this possible? And, in the same home? Yes, a simple change on the part of the Humans and its time for the Lover to come forth!

Anyone that has known me for even a short period of time, know that I have a Love for Amazons. I Love the Feather, Flesh, that Amazon Scent, that heartwarming Blood of the Living Amazon, which does not require batteries and is not simply de-activated by pulling the plug or pushing the OFF button. I Love In Your Face Amazons! A Warm Blooded, Living, Reality Check, Everyday!

Put that latest greatest electrical gratification toys away, engage a living creature. You may just find that there is far more to life than that momentary gratification techno toy. Without engaging that living creature, such a statement would never be possible.

Amazons are not toys! And Fools are justly rewarded for their self-centered stupidity. Let the Fools write their stores, with hope it will keep other Fools from thinking that their next toy should be an Amazon!

Amazons’ Have More Fun! And, the brighter, more open, Loving Humans quickly find that to be true! Individuals who are successfully Owned by an Amazon are the kind of People that I have always found to be a True Joy being around!

There is no question in my mind that: Amazon’s Rule!
 
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wrench13

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'Boats, I could not have said it better myself. As I sit here in a Target parking lot, waiting for the wife to damage my wallet a bit, Salty is sitting on my shoulder, looking around and loving being with his Daddy, getting scratches, and treats and asking nothing in the world more. And I in return ask nothing more of this world either. Except maybe Salty, dont chew on the fine Corinthian leather!
 

Kiwibird

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Beautifully written! Amazons are very intelligent creatures and you get what you put in.
 

AmyMyBlueFront

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Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
I love my "little green girl",endlessly. Moreso than any "pet" I have ever had. She wants for nothing (except endless skritches maybe :rolleyes:)

It takes very little to please her, a ride in the car sometimes brings her to full blown Amazon excitement,all poofed up,head bobs,and chattering away in Amazon speak very excitedly.

And if I come home late in the evening,she rewards me with "hello?...hello???..." very softly,like she KNOWS its late at night and Dad just snuck in ;)

I wouldn't have it any other way.


Jim
 

GaleriaGila

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Sailboat, more than once your writing has moved me close to tears.
You express the pure love for another being so beautifully and sometimes poignantly, as you did above.
It must an astonishing joy and privilege to live with an Amazon. I can apply some of those feelings to living with the you-know-who.
In any event, that was just wonderful to read.
I was whining to Wrench once, a while back, and he said something l know he won't mind my sharing. Something like... 'whatever the challenges, never forget that you have an amazing little wild miracle that sits on your finger and talks to you'.
He was so right. We ought never lose our wonder and our gratitude.
 

BeatriceC

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I'm reading this with my little green "monster" chattering away on his play perch behind me. I'm not his human, so we're not quite friends yet, but we've come a long way. As much as I love Charlotte and Leo, Goofy will always be the bird who showed me how wonderful they can be (even with that attitude!), and will always have a special place in my heart.
 

SirEdwin89

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Amazonly well said!
 
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SailBoat

SailBoat

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Can't wait for the next installment.

There is at least twenty 'different' documents ready or very near ready. Each based on subject matters that revolve around living with and caring for Amazons. The running thread is the formation of knowledge gained and placed into a written form to retain it and provide it to others.

The Amazons that come to us have one very consistent reality, they are the trash that no one else wanted. All have been ill, some very seriously and not a single one had any want to trust another Human. So, some of the writings are a bit Preachy and others could be seen as 'Over-Kill' in providing.

In all cases, the underlying goal is to obtain the longest possible time with each Amazon that graces our home.

At present, I am looking at one or two per week!

It is very possible, as part of nearly all my writings, to simply insert another Parrot species or the general term of Parrot.
 
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AmyMyBlueFront

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Amy a Blue Front 'Zon
Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
In my almost 30 years with birds,I have only had a couple species. An Amazon,a Grey,a Cockatoo ( not for long with Jonesy :eek:) BB the tiel and a 'keet when I was a young lad.

Amy has been the most hands-on fid. Skritches,pets,playing with me,and her unbelievable socialization skills,and those skills were learned from ME,taking her places and introducing her to new people,places,and things.

Smokey,the TAG, wasn't very hands on..she detested the hand,only getting on when there was no alternative. She did however,love my shoulder,gurgle in my ear,pull my hair or beard,bang her beaky on my forehead,even puke on me :rolleyes:

BB is turning into an Amy..only pint sized lol. He loves skritches,my shoulder,he is very vocal,singing his heart out,and he is talking well,and he too is being socialized..loves his "uncle" DJ,and my buddy Joe

But Amy is in a class all her own. A lot of folks here have mentioned how their 'zons scream..Amy does not..NEVER has. But she doesn't sing either like a lot of others do. Oh sure,she can get loud at times,but its always in the morning,talking.. HELLO!! HOW ARE YOU???! WHATCHA DOING??

She isn't bitey..of sure she has her moments but after 27 years I know what to look for :rolleyes:
She is on my shoulder now,as I type,mumbling in my ear and gently nibbling on my lobe..Maybe I'll take her for a ride!

Jim
 
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SailBoat

SailBoat

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The Love for Amazons came from the places in my Heart that each had created for their own self and each had created a space for yet another. Hard to explain, other than to say that living without an Amazon was as near as difficult as loosing one!

Living with the deep 'known' knowledge that with each Amazon it would always be a want to fight for every additional hour. The search for methods to scratch out each hour lead early to their diet. Seeing a clear difference between what their natural diet consisted around and what was provided resulted in a search to find sources for what they needed and not what was stealing them from us.

I had known from my own fight with weight that the single source diet never worked and that the only thing that really helps was a well rounded diet that support a healthier self.

With luck, I had been a member of the Amazon Society and its resources of many of the leading experts in Avian Care. Those individuals provided information regarding what represented a strong healthy diet and its support for Amazons facing serious illness.

This occurred years ago and what they had presented was Earth Shaking then and remains so today!

The vast majority of you are not yet faced with older and/or Amazons that are fighting an illness, so are not driven too fight for each hour. My hope in providing this is to offer that thinking in advance of a need!

The next part of this Journey is as important as Loving them and that is having them with you longer!
 
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SailBoat

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Correct Food For An Amazon
SailBoat 2016


How does one determine the amount and type of food for a companion Amazons? This is a subject that is much pondered by Amazon owners, but rarely addressed by the experts.

Your Avian Vet will use the gram weight of your parrot, the target weight range for the species, and combined with the ‘feel’ of the parrot during the physical examination to determine if your Amazon is under, within the range, or overweight. Most Avian Vets tend to address the issue of the correct amount of food based on the current status of that Amazon. If that Amazon is overweight, cut-down on how much is provided, if not overweight, that Amazon is getting the correct amount or additional needs to be provided if underweight. That’s nice, but it ready doesn’t answer the question of how much to feed, and more importantly, what to base that amount on.

Since each Amazon is different based on its life style and what is in fact provided as a diet. The answer, as with most things, will require an effort on your part. The process will require that you are comfortable handling your Amazon and that you have a gram scale. “If you have an Amazon, a gram scale is as important as a cage. Amazons have a love for food, therefore are prone to overeating. They love food so much that it can be hard for them to limit themselves since they get such pleasure from eating.”

NOTE: There are several Amazon species that have a very wide range in overall physical size and therefore weight. If you’re Amazon is at the upper or lower end of the ‘size’ range that must be factored into determining it’s stable, healthy weight!


Examination of Your Amazon:

“The first step in evaluating an Amazon is to visually determine if there is a vertical crease down the mid, lower chest. Now, determine if there is a crease between the legs. It is sometimes hard to tell if the vertical crease is caused by muscle or fat on the breast (Keel) bone, in addition, not all Amazons will have a crease between their legs. This reality supports the need for second step.

NOTE: A seriously underweight Amazon will present with a very pronounced breast (Keel) bone and needs be to be seen by their Avian Vet ASAP.

Step two is to check for the presents of fat by wetting the Amazon’s chest feathers and with care separating them to see the skin. In most all cases, you will see the fat layer under the thin translucent skin. It’s appearance looks like the yellow/white fat on a chicken’s breast that you would prepare for cooking.

Step three requires an evaluation of the activity level of your parrot. Here, a simple ‘One to Ten,’ scale is used. A ‘One’ would define an Amazon, which perches directly next to the food bowl and only if the water bowl is located elsewhere will move between the two bowls, a clear reason for separating and continually moving the bowls. A ‘Ten’ would be a fully flighted Amazon, which does not become winded during any two or more consecutive flights around the house. That occasional fourteen-foot flight from the cage to you, to recover that special treat, does not count as a Ten!

Step four, weigh your Amazon daily! Weighing is most accurate, if it is done at the same time everyday. The best time would be directly after the morning movement and prior to eating. Write down the day, time, and weight of your Amazon. Daily weighing is an important tool in monitoring the health of your Amazon.

Remember that there will be natural fluctuations in weight throughout the year. Examples: During and post Hormonal season(s), during and after molting season(s). Amazon’s of the Great White North will naturally be ‘slightly’ heavier during the winter than during summer. In addition, pigging-out on a favored treat will result in them momentary being heavier shortly after that event. All of these reasons support the need for the daily gram weight of your Amazon. Spot weighing or the yearly weighing at the Avian Vet’s Clinic does not provide enough information to track the weight of your Amazon.”

NOTE: There are those Amazons that have stabilized as part of their youth and middle age, eating habits, in addition to they overall health and activity level, that allow for a weekly weight check. That said; if any change from their stable state occurs, return to a daily weight check.


Reviewing the Results and Adjusting Your Amazon’s Servings:

A heavier Amazon that rates ‘Eight’ in activities, has a little fat on its breast and has a vertical flight muscle crease is an athlete and is not overweight. If this defines your Amazon, it is very important that your Avian Vet is fully aware of the athletic status of your parrot. Vets rarely use step two, too visually determine the content of the vertical crease of the mid - lower chest. They may incorrectly assign your parrot as overweight.

Far too often, the heavier parrot has a ‘Two or Three’ in activities, has extensive fat on its breast and a defined round chest. The perch potato is obviously heavy. For this Amazon, feed a ‘little less’ for a week. Then keep reducing the serving size each week until you see a decrease in its daily weight. Provide that serving size over the next couple of weeks, while watching for the Amazon’s weight to stabilize. At this point, begin reducing the serving size again, following the process above. During this process, it is very important to increase the activity level of your Amazon. Separating the water and food dishes, moving them to different areas of the cage, rearranging the location of toys all work to stimulate your Amazon. Additionally, getting your Amazon out and spending an increased one-on-one time with you is important for both of you.

I do not recommend introducing ‘extensive’ change to your Amazon’s environment during this process. Most Amazon’s hate change and it is important not to unnecessary stress your Amazon. The goal is to build more activity into your Amazon’s daily life and adjust food intake to improve its overall health. Making minor, daily changes in different parts of the cage over the course of several weeks is much better than the all in one day approach. This encourages the Amazon to investigate the smaller daily changes as apposed to freaking-out over a totally new environment.

If your Amazon is too thin, you simply follow the same process, but increase the size of its servings and activities. Some Amazons, like some Humans, have a very high metabolic rate and simply require more food. In both cases, involvement of your medical support (Avian Vet or Doctor) is critical to assure proper medical guidance.

It is important to reevaluate your Amazon monthly and based on that evaluation, adjust the amount of food provided. Please remember that there are natural variations in the gram weight of an Amazon over the course of a year. The goal is to improve the health of your Amazon by proving a well-balanced healthy diet, sized to its activity level and metabolic rate.

This discussion ‘assumes /requires’ you are providing a healthy and varied diet, and that you are regularly visiting an Avian Qualified Vet. If your Amazon is on an all seed diet, please, first convert to a balanced, healthy diet before undertaking a weight reduction program. That change, in and of itself, can reduce your Amazon’s weight and increase its activity level. To my knowledge, there are no Amazons that will have a healthy life eating only seed. Seed should be a very, very small part of an overall healthy diet for an Amazon.


Continued on the next Post!
 
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SailBoat

SailBoat

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Correct Food For An Amazon
SailBoat 2016

... Continuation


Suggestions for a Healthy Amazon Diet:


“Up to 20% - Quality Proteins: such as Parrot Pellet diet (no artificial colorings, low to no sugar or salt), tofu, low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt, very hard boiled eggs, well-cooked chicken or turkey, a combination of various grains such as quinoa and corn, enriched pasta, cooked beans, nuts and small amounts of nut butters.

About 30 - 35% - Vitamin A Produce: various greens such as collards, mustard, turnip, kale, chard, spinach, broccoli and commercial dandelion, peppers, carrots, dark orange yams and sweet potatoes, winter squash, peaches, apricots and papaya.

15 - 25% - Other Vegetables and Fruits: peas, bean sprouts, Summer squash, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, beets, tomato, potato, apples, grapes, banana, mango, pomegranate, oranges, figs, guava and berries of all kinds.

15 - 25% Whole Grains: whole grain pasta, brown rice, low fat granola, amaranth, oats, commercial /home produced ‘quality cooking mixes’ for Parrots (no sugar cereals).

No More than 5 - 15% Fats: EFA’s such as Flax seed oil added to food, nut, seeds, small amounts of low salt cheese, occasional commercially produced meal worms.

Items not to be found in an Amazon’s Diet: salt, sugar, animal fat, butter, bacon, chocolate, avocado, rhubarb, soft cooked eggs, rare meat of any kind, caffeine, dog food, cat food, monkey food (no foods formulated for other pets or wild animals). This is not a complete list!!!

NOTE: There is no such thing as a diet that Everyone in this Wide and Wonderful World of Amazons will full agree too! That said; this diet provides a solid foundation that meets the general agreement of many experienced Amazon owners with only minor changes in percentages and/or content. You will note that the low and high percentages will provide either less or more than 100%. This occurs to allow for natural variation /availability though out a year and the hardcore likes and dislikes of your specific Amazon.

In addition, with the wide range of Amazons in physical size, activity, metabolic rate and the quality of the food provided. There is no hard and fast amount (measurable in grams) of ‘food’ provided. The only type of food that would lend itself to a formatted diet is Parrot Pellets. Although, Parrot Pellets had been believed to be a ‘complete’ diet product. The Pellet only approach is quickly being replaced by the abundant across-section diet that relies heavily on the greatest percentage being Fresh Healthy Foods as found above.

So if this is true, why are so many Avian Vets recommending 100% Parrot Pellet Diets! Simple! In general, they do not believe that their clients will follow their recommendations and their hope is that the client will provide at least some Parrot Pellets in addition to the ‘all seed.’ Every time a diet as defined above is presented to an Avian Vet, they agree with and support such a diet!

The diet provided assume that the food sources are all ‘Human Grade’ and if processed, is only processed in a ‘Human Grade’ approved facility.


Amazon’s Have More Fun!

Sources: Joanie Doss - The Amazing Amazons, Gary Gallerstein D.V.M. - The Complete Pet Bird Owner’s Handbook, and Sally Blanchard - Nutritional Guidelines.

FYI: Most Bird Club libraries will have several excellent Parrot Health books that provide information on Parrot Nutrition. In addition, there are several knowledgeable Club or Forum members that have the same Parrot species as you. I am certain they will be happy to provide solid advice on a healthy, nutritional diet for your Amazon; it’s also a great way to meet other members.
 

Kentuckienne

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Is the food list in the Amazon Diet also appropriate for a B&G, maybe with a little more fat like nuts or palm oil? Or do they have a different metabolic profile, need different proportions?
 
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SailBoat

SailBoat

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Is the food list in the Amazon Diet also appropriate for a B&G, maybe with a little more fat like nuts or palm oil? Or do they have a different metabolic profile, need different proportions?

I'm not an expert on MAC's. I believe that you are correct that they handle somewhat more 'fat' in their diet than Amazons. That being true, the percentages can adjust somewhat.
 

Allee

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Steven/Sailboat, thank you so much for sharing your experience, wisdom and insight! This is a beautifully written tribute to the beloved Amazons.
 

jhsatx

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Thank you for your contribution!!!!!

Very much looking forward to when you go into more detail post as it pertains to this:

"Items not to be found in an Amazon’s Diet: salt, sugar, animal fat, butter, bacon, chocolate, avocado, rhubarb, soft cooked eggs, rare meat of any kind, caffeine, dog food, cat food, monkey food (no foods formulated for other pets or wild animals). This is not a complete list!!!"
Thanks again
 
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SailBoat

SailBoat

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I have been reading the loving Stories in the new Forum and while reading April's contribution regarding Kiwi's Story, and the not uncommon, long timeline it takes for most rehomed Amazons to open-up and Trust once again. I had recalled a writing from an author that really fit and needed to be seen here!

So, thank-you April for the reminder!

For those of us who have felt the combination of very long and seemingly unacknowledged effort in Loving an Amazon, and then the joy of the long awaited acceptance. I offer you this tiny insight into their pray to us!


Baggage — Re-homed Pray
By: Evenlynn Colbath


Now that I am home, bathed, settled and fed,
All nicely tucked into my warm new bed,
I would like to open my baggage,
Lest I forget,
There is so much to carry —
So much to forget.

Hmm, Yes, here it is, right on the top —
Let’s unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss,
And there by my side hides Fear and Shame,
As I look on these things I have tried so hard to leave —
I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain.

I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I wasn’t good enough — for they did not want me.

Will you add to my baggage?
Will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things,
And take me right back?

Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To finally put away my baggage...


Provide with Permission
A present to the Parrot Forum /Amazon Forum by: Steven (SailBoat)
 
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