May/June 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 3 Nature's NatureMay 1, 2016 |

Dove

A pestilence of doves descends, an idiocy   of fowl, sister of the pigeon, comrade Of the seagull and all rats with wings. The lawn   is seeded with cereal of a noxious kind Bought for a child and left too long uneaten.   I was hoping for quail, or sparrows at least, Maybe a western grackle, birds of dignity   and character, or maybe a sense of humor—The grackle will do stand-up, or imitate   a jackhammer. But the mourning dove Is a stomach with legs, it is dull of plumage   and stupid. Its flock is a judgment against me. I remember that if the offering to the Lord   is a burnt offering, you are to offer up A dove, or a young pigeon. I remember he waited   seven more days and again sent out the dove From the ark. My dove in the clefts of the rock   and the hiding places on the mountainside, Forgive me my failures. I asked for a slapstick grackle,   I was given a squab in blackface. They will come Trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves

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T. R. Hummer’s tenth book of poems, Ephemeron, was published by LSU Press in November 2011; his second book of essays, Available Surfaces, will appear in University of Michigan Press’s Poets on Poetry Series in 2012. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and teaches at Arizona State University.

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Prehistoric

By T. R. Hummer

A pestilence of doves descends, an idiocy   of fowl, sister of the pigeon, comrade Of the seagull and all rats with wings. The lawn   is seeded with cereal of a […]

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