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On Pigeons and Museums

Poetry & Prose | March 23, 2015

On the museum steps,
chatter accumulates in clouds,
and just a few minutes ago,
while waiting at the bus stop,
I witnessed a rather large pigeon
leading a troop of smaller pigeons,
all walking, towards the entrance.

No one, except me, seemed to care
as these passerine soldiers ascended
past the rampant copper horse,
Pollock-esquely stained by theirs truly,
and the perfumed peanut stand.

The pigeons now stand at attention
in their grey uniforms, pressed,
and the large one—a Lieutenant, most likely—
surveys his men with a disturbingly long head cock.

I drain my coffee empty and
they resume their march
through the legs of oblivious railings,
sightseers, and self-centered art critics.

I entertain the idea that one day these military pigeons will stage a coup.

Three steps before the top,
the large one abruptly stops

as if he hears my thoughts

unsheathes his wings,
and alights on the tallest lamppost.

The smaller ones scatter too,
some to the sidewalk,
others to the shadow of the horse,
and they all assume the act of
innocently pecking an abundance of crumbs.

Now, as the sun breaks
from behind the museum dome,
nothing is out of the ordinary.

Art by Sarah Kotis.