Today's poem is by Steven Cramer

Memo from Homeland Security

Mourning doves and lovebirds
will find havens in trees, or eaves.
Alley cats can take the subway
rats to their alleys; teach them

how to yowl at night, in heat.
Dogs, domestic or stray,
should survive on leavings
from bistros, and their histories

of backyard call and response.
A few doves, true, will strut
at Ground Zero, but note:
they understand Ground Zero

in the old sense of the term—
not meaning where it happened,
but anywhere the fireball's likely;
where shadows, singed on walls

still standing, leave behind an up-
held hand, a leaf, the whole limb....
Just look at them: those birds
who won't get saved, steadfast

in nostalgia, staring skyward
as if to greet the white heat-flash
shrinking to twin candle flames
inside their pupils, which appear

as daubs of black on orange irises
in Audubon's more gorgeous birds.
Which birds, exactly, we can't check.
The power's dead in the public library.

Copyright © 2006 Steven Cramer All rights reserved
from The Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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