After viewing Gretchen Rockwell’s photograph, “The Sound of Wings”

Wildest of the city-dwellers, street doves
beg at the heels of humans for seed,
stale bread, sparkling, unlicked wrappers.

They bum-rush refuse and stay put so long
as the tossing arm moves mechanically,
as a sprinkler, and does not deviate.

At twitch, shuffle, or crinkling bodega bag,
they spook, their iridescent throats—rare
semblance of the natural world—gone

not exactly skyward but gone all the same.
They do not trust the earthbound.
They depend upon our questionable mercy.

Katherine Fallon received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Permafrost, Meridian, Foundry, and others. Her chapbook, The Toothmakers’ Daughters, is available through Finishing Line Press. She teaches at Georgia Southern University, and shares domestic square footage with two cats and her favorite human, who helps her zip her dresses. She can be found at

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2 Responses to Hunger

  1. Shaun Jex says:

    Had to go look up the Rockwell image and I gotta say this poem is a perfect compliment. Also, hard not to love the fact that someone wrote a poem for pigeons…

  2. Jeff says:

    This is great — I really enjoyed tracking down the photo and I enjoyed this combination lot!

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