Pigeons

The pigeons sat on me

The day I took the train.

I’d seen the old man

A local, perhaps

Or a tourist, but such a lack of

Surprise

At his avian invaders

He stood beneath the sighing sycamore

While feathered rats

Stood politely on arms and shoulders

Then he moved away,

As if nothing of import

Had occurred.

I stood in the same spot

Thinking nothing of it.

Within moments,

Feathery warmth assailed my arms

My shoulders

Then up to my neck

Nuzzling my hair

Then alarm started to set in

As one flew onto

The top of my head.

I felt its claws

Its beak

Hunting for bugs

Scrabbling for purchase

Panic’s knife edge threatened

But I moved carefully

And they gently flew to the ground

Landing in leaves and moss and grass.

The pigeons sat on me

I’d thought the old man special

Gifted

And perhaps he was

For his patience

And perhaps I was too.

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