The lesson of pigeons

Just at dusk they come bobbing for crumbs. Their colors rival peacocks in the sun Setting on wings, glinting rainbows of flight Through ancestral air, slow and steady, To the cluster of numbers. There isn't room enough for birds In the world of rules: Stop on red; go with green. Don't swim in water or walk on grass, As if this little plot of planet Weren't meant for paths To unknown places: but wait. Night erases tracks circling back. While we sleep, quiet flocks Take over cities, roof and treetop Plumed with dazzling flags of feather. Raindrops sizzle the streets. Our dream of flight is just that, Mirage of mind in desert heat. Sheets lift from the body: hands reach Past darkness, through the light, To a rush of wings Fanning ancestral air into breezes Transparent as our dominion over pigeons. Their free flight is the lesson.

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