Mourning Doves Wait
All summer long, on the treble clef staff
of five utility lines, mourning doves
perch in a tentative melodic line
of thin, quiet notes. They might change position,
up a third, down a third,
wings fluttering like flute keys.
The doves are plain, brown shadows,
faint commas in a mystery novel
sweetened by the last of summer’s peaches.
Slender vines reach with tired fingers
to flick feathers from a long-abandoned bird nest
in the cherry tree.
Mourning doves live with making indecision
delicate and delightful, small heads wondering
over each breeze and long-limbed tree for the taking.
Still, the title “mourning” becomes them,
since no matter how strong the summer,
all sweet songs end with emptiness and silence.