The urchin on Grand Street hesitates–
the pigeon ambles, unaware of
the predator who approaches from behind.
She pounces, and the bird’s fate is sealed.
The pigeons thinks—“I should have flown.”
It is too late, unless a deus ex machina
should appear. From the porch of a triple-
drecker comes a mother’s voice: “KAREN!
Take that pigeon out of your mouth, you don’t
know where it’s been!” Reluctantly, the child
spits the bird out. Once bitten, now shy, it takes
takes to the skies over Worcester, Mass., and flies,
its heart beating against its breast, urgent, unceasing
until it reaches Shrewsbury. Never again, it reflects
in its dim pigeon mind, will I turn my back on a girl.
From “Take That Pigeon Out of Your Mouth and Other Awful Nature Poems.”