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BODY WATCH : Poetry and the Parakeet

I spend Downtime reading and talking to Gilbert. When this parakeet came to me, I thought we’d have an idyllic future. When the earthquake came, Gilbert stopped asking, “How are ya? Where you been?” His feathers were as shaken as my courage. I began to read poetry aloud. Everyday I asked, “Feeling better?” Finally, one morning Gilbert replied, “Better. Better.”

DOROTHY MARIE CHILDS

Santa Monica

* Let us know what you do in your Downtime. Send 100 words or less to Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, Calif. 90053. Include name, address and daytime phone number.

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