Pigeon

I like to hang around the fountains,
water coolers of the city, where traffic intersects,
dropping crumbs of cake and gossip, lies and lives.
Few notice me, but in the moment that it takes
their breath to fall I have named them all.

It all began with water. I surfed the wind that
whipped the waves of creation,
tossed the ark like a toy; I brought them
an olive branch to make them feel better.
I am known for carrying messages long distances.

Once, I fell in love, dropping headlong from the sky;
they tried to tame me, but he turned the tables,
broke the cage. Spooked, I flew the coop.

I like best the kind that spring up
unsuspected from the ground,
surprising squealing children;
water should always be astonishing,
considering where it came from.

The saddest sight that I have seen,
a fountain cracked and empty, dry and bitter
fallen angels face-down lying broken in its basin.

(This Sunday’s readings include the table-turning temple scene where the dove-sellers are rebuked and the sheep and cattle set free, although the fate of the doves is not clear.)

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