The Curse of the Green Parrot

To let
says the sign in the window
The Chinese take-away
didn’t even manage two months.

It thrived as the Green Parrot café
when we were at school
where I sat next to Rodriguez, the owners son.
We were entertained on weekends
before the girls
by pinball machines
and the krap we spoke
and the parrot himself
who ate cigarettes and spoke nonsense continually.

It spun, suspended with cigarette smoke
in its fixed orbit in my weekend mind.
It seemed that there would always be
the Green Parrot café.

But this was before seeing places that worked
being turned into blocks of flats
and bottle stores.
Before we knew
that venues full of fantastical evenings
and music and good times
could just be bought by little grumpy men
and cease to be.

The café was sold
and Rodriguez moved away
but I can’t pretend
to not be a little pleased
that the bird has his revenge
and the curse of the Green Parrot
has ensured
that no-one’s made a go of it since.