artwork: ralph murre
The Mourning Dove
by Constance Vogel Adamkiewicz
Exists on half a ration -- the charity of sparrows'
seed dropped beneath the feeder
where she nestles in the grass,
stretching her wings.
Even a nudge from the old dog's nose
or a launching pad of my cupped hands
does not make her fly, only skim the ground
before returning to the hollow she created.
Why has she stayed, these long days,
repeating her same sad coo,
risking hunter hawk or cat
when she could fly away?
What keeps her from taking
that one grand liftoff
before winter's white hand grips her
and all she can do is look afar
to the place she might have reached a long time ago
and her eyes close under the weight of snow?
~ first published in Moon Journal