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On my bathroom window ledge

a pair of doves bring twigs

flutter on and off

cooing dove songs into

twin eggs, weeks later

incubated by her then him

they hatch, hungry miracles

feeding, growing, beaks inside beaks

like rubber toys inflating daily

and then they’re gone


Not far away on a western

ledge they reappear

coming and going, the seeds

I leave for them disappear

in sharp musical pecks


Back at bathroom window

another mother (or the same one)

has laid two creamy eggs in this

abandoned second-hand nest

incubated by her then him

yet still unhatched, left untended

for a few heartbeats, suddenly at

morning they are gone

no mother, no father, no eggs


We think snake, predator bird

shrug into an empty nest

empty sky, empty wall


On western ledge a dove

has laid a single egg, it stands

alone far from the nest and feeding tray

point down on bare concrete

no mother, no father – an orphan egg

when I try to lay it down

the way eggs repose

it rights itself immediately

stands back on its head


Strange are the ways of doves

down in the street children wait

for the school bus to arrive

one may grow to be a dentist,

a politician, one may join the peace corps

save orphaned orangutans in Borneo

another felled by a bullet in the war

you feed them, flutter, coo

and then they’re gone

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© Johnmichael Simon



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