Watching the pigeons

February 13, 2021 § 10 Comments

 Monday -
 on the platform again
 the day he goes to London
 breathing shallow
 waving i turn away
 the train gathers speed
 stiff happiness sliding off my skin
 i wait to get lost in the darkness
 looking skywards for strength
 I make myself a bell tower
 in this sharp bright light
 he shall be the bell.
 Just a bunch -
 a band of pigeons in the station tree
 nearly flirting 
 for another to make the first move
 my husband calls them rat birds
 for taking the niger seeds i leave for the songbirds
 i suppose it isn’t really stealing.
 From behind the sun 
 a rush of air
 the hawk sharp
 a weapon grown fleet with need
 a jet strike deep into the branches
 i never heard pigeons shriek like this
 feathers fly and the hawk twists away
a snap roll

 and is gone.
 The pigeons ruffle
 quick to forget
 settling back 
 quick to remember nothing has changed
 except the little hawk is still hungry
 and my breath has grown slow 
 and made more space around me

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§ 10 Responses to Watching the pigeons

  • mikesteeden says:

    You paint a marvellous picture; a magic story within a poem, Rachael. Superb. How the Devil are you, Regards, The Old, Old Fool?

    • Rachael says:

      Watcha Mike! The Devil is fine apart from mega itchy feet. Longing to get on a plane – Ladakh, foothills of Everest, Bhutan…
      I assume you are now rich and famous with your outrageous poems. Just what we need to cheer the world up!
      My best
      Being a grandma is rather cool…

      • mikesteeden says:

        Gooday, Rachael. Truly lovely to hear from you. Rich and famous I shall never be. Outrageous I will always be. I think I prefer the latter, if the truth be told. Writing is just a hobby. Eight books on, and with the help of my more than just capable lady of Florida who does the covers, publishing on Amazon etc. I tuck them away at the back of a bookcase and have let it be known that, when I snuff it, they can be considered my gravestone equivalent…well that and the fact I live in hope that one day a great, great etc. grandchild will pick them up and announce, ‘what a nutter that old fool was’.
        I have, at last count, five sproglet grandkids. They can be fascinating as they evolve. Is this your first grandchild? Innocence in the palm of your hand, a wonderful thing and one to enjoy for certain.
        ‘Itchy feet’ I agree. It’s that irksome that we cannot get further than the back yard these days. It’s got so bad I’d spend a king’s ransom for a day trip to Calais…and I don’t even like Calais!
        Anyhow, I hope you get on the airplane sometime soon, and…albeit a hackneyed phrase…‘take care’.
        Regards, The Old Fool (that’s been my handle these past couple of years)

        • Rachael says:

          Hey Mike, I enjoyed your, as ever, cheery missive! Am looking forward to catching up with your irreverent snippets of life.
          Five grand children? Wow! I have some catching up to do.
          Roll on summer

  • This is a really vivid picture, Rachael: interspersed with the melancholy of separation is the mundane that suddenly takes on new focus. I love how you have compossed this scene in poetic form.

  • This is beautiful Rachael, a wonderfully told story, I love the way the sadness of someone leaving is told alongside the vignette of the pigeons and the hawk.

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