Passages in the Aftermath
(Sun Series #11)


In the low-angled light of a late November morning,
White-winged doves patrol the gravel
Beneath the feeder, searching for any fallen seeds
Rejected by the perched jay.
They pace and peck until temporarily displaced
By a quail parade.
One marching hen kicks up a cluster of white feathers
That fly a bit and settle apart.
As more pass, the feathers rise again
Separated by feet and breeze
Till most can no longer be seen.
The covey continues out into the low oaks,
But a few feathers remain
Caught on stones, waving with the winds,
One free, rolling over and over,
Perfectly white through backlit rays
Until the doves return.

Not five minutes later…
A disorganized army of quail
Reemerges from under the oaks
Retaking the ground under that feeder.
More animated than the doves,
They spare and chase and shove each other,
Kicking and bobbing and pecking all the time
Until, startled, they burst into confused flight,
One deflecting off the window with a thud.


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The Departure of Wolf Copyright © 2019 by Mark P. Widrlechner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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