Tuesday Poem

My Friends the Pigeons

The American Experiment has entered
yet another critical phase.
My friends the pigeons, who rent
a ledge in the nine hundred block
of St. Louis, seem painfully aware of this.
I hope I am not merely projecting
my own dread onto them, but if I am
I do so with trepidation,
for pigeons are, by their very nature,
conduits of urban grief, though if
studied with an open, critical mind,
refract anemic sentiments. Oh sage
pigeons of the nine hundred block
of St. Louis Street . . . Will the crowds
cease to laugh at them?
A blight on the day the happy crowds
no longer laugh at them!
A blight on the idiocy of the Christian Right!
I have watched them on television
and shivered with grief.
They are forcing me to embrace
what otherwise I might shun,
such as ugly, mite-infested pigeons,
surrogate angels for those
never told their bodies were evil.
I thank my sweet, dead mother
for never telling me my body was evil,
and for laying a big, dirty feather
on my pillow one Christmas Eve.

by Richard Katrovas
New American Poets of the ‘90s
publisher, David R. Godine, 1991