Mourning Doves

Inseparable they are,
landing one after another
on the ground
under the bird feeder

two mourning doves
that refuse to land until
the raucous starlings
creating a ruckus above
have spilled enough seed
to make a landing worth it.

The doves wander around
as if in a trance and vacuum
seed until one’s had its fill
and flies away and the other
follows seconds later.

But this time the neighbor’s cat,
a senior citizen no longer able
to pluck a junco out of the air,
hunkers in the rock garden.

He’s as gray as the rocks
and sits as still as the rocks.
He makes certain this time
one dove rises in the air.

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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