The Mourning Doves

by Jane Blue

Two mourning doves promenaded out together
from under the roses by the garage
where we’d seen just one before, probably
the female, wordlessly scuffing.
Now the two of them stood together
in the mulch of dead snapdragons
as if making conversation for the first time

The day was hot.

The male fluttered out onto the lawn,
spreading his white-marked feathers
as if erotically fingering the grass,
pleading, feigning dying.

It’s the way of males.

The next thing I knew, the female had walked out
from the brick planter filled with old snapdragons
and onto the lawn a distance from the male,
hopping and pecking, pretending disinterest.

It’s the way of females.

She got herself under him, or he’d pounce on her
when she danced into the circle of his magnetism,
so quietly covered by him; I could see only
her tiny head, throat up. She never cried out.

A little later, they stamped in the snapdragons
as before, She pecked at the ground as if it were nothing.

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