We knew it could happen—there was no way
that messy house of twigs was safe up there

in our eaves. The nest blew down, and the doves
rebuilt using the sprigs and fluff now on the ground.

Restored, they took turns sitting on the nest—
female at night, male during the day.

The third morning, he fluttered in for duty
with a hard landing and the whole thing crashed:

nest, two eggs—smashed.
My grandkids and I buried the bits of shell and goop

in a shallow grave under a tree fern in the yard.
We talked about life and death, the vagaries of nature,

but the next week I had no explanation for the cluster
of tiny purple flowers blooming in that spot.

Victoria Melekian lives in Carlsbad, California. Her stories and poems have been published in Mudfish, Literary Orphans, Atlanta Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Word Riot, and other anthologies. She’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a runner-up in the 2018 Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-Flash Award. Her story “What I Don’t Tell Him” aired on NPR. She’s twice won a San Diego Book Award. For more, visit

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1 Response to Alchemy

  1. Reblogged this on Morsels of Marita and commented:
    I do palliative care and your poem spoke truth. Love. Wonder. Thanks. Hope it’s okay to reblog.

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