Birthday Poem, 2014

One could do worse
than spend the day watching them:
not quite rock doves &
not quite pigeons–
call them Railroad Doves–
evolved on the lines
feeding with each passing grain train
but now the grain is gone
& it may be some genetic memory
that makes them cluster
on the piles of deathstone
filling the long line of the coal train
that cuts our town in half

The slap of their wings
like an eight of spades
in the spokes of a slow coasting bicycle

The wheeze of airbrakes powering
& the train begins its squealing departure
casting off the birds &
taking its poison dust
to the next town
The wind brings the stench of coal
I take it into my lungs–
knock a few seconds off
the end of my life–
breathe out & in again
then the air is torn by the thunder
of four back units – testimony
to the train’s length
& the climb it must make
to clear the pass

When it’s gone
the railroad doves gather & swirl
to a nearby rooftop to await the next train

Late tonight,
a dragon will swallow the moon
heedless of the greed
that swallows the world
one train at a time

One could do worse
than to watch the doves

This entry was posted in poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Birthday Poem, 2014

  1. dirtpoet says:

    One could do worse… I know I’ve heard that line before. Nice reuse. Good to hear from you my friend. Not sure about the company you’re keeping.

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