Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

What Doves Bring

What Doves Bring
Photograph via Flickr by Jackie

Mourning doves arrive with the bruise of dawn.
Sixty birds descending on a wire
sounds like the first time I shuffled cards.
Suits and royals flush in my folded hands.

A plague of doves is a welcomed change from concrete,
bars on windows, apartments next door, the view of youth.

In my childhood bedroom, my mother painted a pine tree–
sparse leaves and a tall trunk dapple a dull wall. Had I known
there would be doves, fruit trees, bird-lined wires and a bird bath,
instead of chain link and concrete, I wouldn’t need a time machine.

A flight to the future. Sixty doves grace dawn, greet my sleepy eyes.
In this present tense, I collect pine cones that prick my fingers.

Pine cones I collect like a child instead of a grown woman.
Pine cones I spray paint and decorate for Mardi Gras.
Pine cones, their natural shelves hold fallen feathers.
Pine cones, missing from a bedroom mural in South-Central L.A.

Decades later, I realize the pine cones were always there.
So were the doves, and so were you.