Still-black dawn cracks
over dove country-
staccato shots rip me from sleep
as they rip breath from flight;
rude alarms without faces.
Light brings the neighbors’ girl
to roost in a fall field-
arms full of the plastic lives
of several dolls with neoprene skin.
Her tinny voice trills across
my coffee, the forgotten words
of some long ago song-
“On the wings of a snow white dove-”
It shudders behind my eyes,
the goose-fleshed imprints linger all day.
End of day finds her
at the edge of my yard;
scuffed hands cupped around a dead bird.
She offers it like truth-
quick, free of fanfare.
“Bullshit,” she says, nodding her head
to some secret agreement.
“The wings are just grey, after all.”