Today's poem is by Cathryn Essinger

Mourning Doves

Stop that bobbing and cooing;
pay some attention to what you are doing!

Surely, in the long, dovetailed history
of the family there must have been one,
male or female,

who saw the logic behind a well-sculpted nest,
who argued for a safer location, a protected
eave or shrub.

Anything would be better than this flattened
mat of grass and twigs balanced on a branch
of aging spruce,

a nest so carelessly constructed that it will
shatter with the first heavy rain, or break
under the weight

of its own children. Fledglings don't leave
this nest as often as the nest leaves them,
dumping them out,

ready or not, a species so unconcerned with
its own preservation that one could doubt
Darwin's theory,

or any theory that allows a nest so hastily
done that eggs may roll away
before hatching,

unless Mourning Doves, iridescent in their dusty
gray, so constant with their tender song,
are such common currency,

that Nature can afford this laissez faire.
She shrugs her round shoulders
and simply doesn't care.

Copyright © 2005 Cathryn Essinger All rights reserved
from My Dog Does Not Read Plato
Main Street Rag Publishing Company
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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