Stolen Anthem


Rousing from sleep in dawn of mid-winter gray
No usual mournful morning greeting
From the dove house.

Approach and where are the perfect
Slender birds whose low-throated songs
Soothe the night, and ballast waking?

Look closely and tiny feathers float
Above the ground, chaotic
Signs of futile struggle.

Not taken up in rapture,
But tortured in the night
Bloodied and abandoned.

Inside, tucked and nested
His partner sets unaware
Warming five pearl smooth eggs.

What thief would steal
Through some narrow crevice
To leave behind such devastation?

Cry indeed for stolen song,
The gentle soulful sounds
Of peace

And await the wakening of a new dawn:
Restored anthem, hatching soon
Beneath a downy breast.

3 thoughts on “Stolen Anthem

  1. That’s the hard part of farming, isn’t it, Emily; living so close to death — animals that are raised for food are not easy for some folks to deal with, but animals that become food for other animals … well, it is sad. My dad was quite good about helping me grasp the realities. And I did, I think, but it’s still pretty danged poignant. You really captured the mood here.


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