Wings, The Breast, The Bird
by Jennifer Clark

There are days when not just a flash
of wing or breast, but millions
of passenger pigeons, a thundering
waterfall of wine-coloured bellies
gushes by, numbers so daunting
they quell the sky.

Sun concealed, people watch
silently or slap their thigh,
shouting “would you look at that!”
hearts pounding, voices drowning
in a roar of beating wings.

As feathered pilgrims swoop
low along the Ohio, men and boys
on banks, shoot and shoot. For weeks,
the town eats and talks of nothing
but pigeons.