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A dove hidden in a balcony–blanketed in its own wing  
Eyes moistened by lucent lids–endowed with invisible auricles  
Has heard sheep in the valley bleating over the hills  
For she has sequestered a hundred coos  
In a recess of straw–throughout her many seasons of young.  

The dove that coasted down falling trees  
In perpetual flight from disturbances of creation  
Cannot know a moment of inner beasts  
That rise and sicken–one with night. The day  
Arrives only to allow the play of light  

Across a wet tink of bars. Showers of sleet
Strum the rooftops–over the bowed heads of doves
Who cannot think of heaven, only sky. Is the dove
As bewildered as I? Each disinherited generation
Inhabits a city built by strangers in the past.


“Doves” originally appeared as part of a collection in Instinct: Poems published by Bright Hill Press.

Available at ABE books.

“Doves” is a digital painting by the author, Joanna Straughn

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