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Pigeons

May 3, 2013 4 comments

by Marilyn Zelke-Windau

Perched on a right angle
grey, concrete sill overlook,
with 180 degrees of peripheral eye,
pigeons minute waltz,
sidestepping left-right,
back, forward, then wing it solo
to street level to search
for tree seed, wrapper residue,
to bide their time
by pecking pavement.

Pigeons are possessive chest thrusters.
Puffed in muted, sleek feathers
they wait for raindrops on city sidewalks,
pick their way through puddles,
preen humidity.

Flocking to regroup in plazas,
where bronze horses abide,
they pay homage to bigger beasts,
nestle on heroesā€™ heads, hats,
and on sworded hands
raised in charged leadership.

They grey-swoop, silver-glide,
intimidate pedestrians inches from faces,
autos feet from windshields,
from exits, from parking spaces.

Pigeons own cities.
No license, no permit,
they squat, grandfathered in
by their grandfathers.
They are the huddle cooers
of urban uptowns,
the detectives of ordinary environs.


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Marilyn Zelke-Windau lives in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin with her husband, Tom, and their golden retriever puppy. She taught elementary school art for many years. Her poems have appeared in several printed journals including Stoneboat, Fox Cry Review, and Seems, and at the online sites of Your Daily Poem, Verse Wisconsin, and brawlerlit. She is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.