Ode To A Dove’s Lament

By Maureen Doallas

You do not whisper coo-oo this
morning, your sound the signal
alarm—wings sharply whistling—
till I, twice pulled from slumber, run
my finger to the glass, imagining how
the limb on which you perch might be
shaken to one more vow of silence.

We do this often, you and I—call
and respond, me rubbing sleep’s eye
and you, my day-breaking game bird,
letting loose the same-syllable song
widows address in their dreams.

How could I know today would be
different, wing whirs replacing coo-
OO-oo, the racketeering Blue Jay
occupying the nest, its beak a bloom
of tiny shell chips, and you, in gray
dress, forever unstilled.

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