Today's poem is by Sarah Barber

White Live Doves for Funerals

According to Birds of North America,
where they occur is everywhere all year.
The tips of their wings collide on take off.
From there it's ultraglide in white

at an angle impossible to follow, though
we'll all get our chance to try. For now,
we bob our heads when walking, coo,
and nest—which is why we were circling

the block, like good birders partly
concealed though not quiet in the car
since journey was encouraging us not to stop
believin' those men would stop kissing

outside the gay bar beside the electric pole
we'd pulled up alongside because I wanted
those White Live Doves for Funerals
to hang in my study. As if "dove"

were just another word for a commoner bird—
eats grains, small seeds—and my dead
wouldn't care for the rise of a pigeon.
And though mourning makes for small

intelligence on the upper branches,
when did I stop believing? Generally,
for memory's sake, there are trees, a building,
at least a rock to mark the season by until

the birds end up where they started.
And then it's ukraglide—in black because
my eyes are bad. These birds are mad
atwitter. Where they occur is everywhere.

Copyright © 2009 Sarah Barber All rights reserved
from Fugue
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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