RACING PIGEONS

Green grass gray at first light,
the hills don’t know it’s Sunday,
nor care that I am lost within

mottled shadows under trees
with a bumper crop of acorns
waiting for a rain. Time slows,

each second lingers into the next
like early spring and I am changed—
coffee and cigarette staring up canyon,

peaks afire in morning cold
before this threshold facing north,
open to each breath, all urgency gone.

Trite and hackneyed voices come
close to roost as ravens, as plump
quail puttering from rock piles, as

these squatters, a growing band
of racing pigeons testing wings, flare
and glint in unison: no going back.

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