Breakfast with Ted


No one goes to the patio now
except at night when Ann
goes out to spread old bread
and sunflower seed
on the small table for birds
to eat at dawn.

The next morning
she gets up early and
watches the birds from
the breakfast nook
where she and Ted
would sit and marvel
at the pecking order.

First the sparrows arrive
and eat as fast as possible
before the cardinals and jays
come and take command.
Then the starlings land
and raise a ruckus
even when the table
is theirs alone.

The starlings leave
like jets on a mission and
in just a few minutes
two doves drop down.
One walks behind the other
and they eat whatever
is left behind.

It’s no wonder Ann’s partial
to one of the doves.
He reminds her of Ted
and lets the other dove
walk ahead and eat
the best of what is left.
His feathers are always
perfectly in place, same
color as Ted’s hair.

By Donal Mahoney


Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. Read more of his poems in Eye on Life Magazine here.

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