Excerpts > Fall 2005
Tim Skeen

A Poem Not Sanctioned by the Human Subjects, Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee

Someone, tired of the office chair,
or someone tired of walking around
the chair in the hallway, rolled it
out of doors to the fourth floor stairwell.

Two pigeon eggs, almost the size
of supermarket eggs, side by side
on the sticks, white against the blue
of the chair in the shade, made me

bring my incredulous daughter to see
the nest and its eggs. We crept up
the steps like a couple of manx cats
without bells to see the blinking eyes

of the sober pigeon for ourselves.
Other birds cooed back and forth
somewhere we couldnít see.
Iris and I looked at each other,

then we slowly left. She wants me
to bring her back. Iíve told her
that we canít touch the eggs because
the mother would abandon them.

Is this true? Iíve watched starlings be
eradicated from city trees with fire hoses,
and Iíve noticed broken eggs at the feet
of aluminum ladders below the eaves

and gutters of apartment buildings.
Itís the lesson of necessity, isnít it?
Some things must die for the sake
of public health and safety. Sheís just

old enough to understand it now.
Still, itís going to hurt her soul.
Itís going to mature her. Itís going
to make her become more like us.

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