APPLE DOVES (a poem)

The Mourning Doves arrive in spring
Each year and always paired
The two mourn lovingly at the top
Of my roof, from way up here

Often we see them at the feeder
Only they mourn less from there
And prefer the ground underneath
Scratching together for seedy fare

End of summer usually sees them go
Late to arrive, they rarely stick around
Though every evening we strain to hear
So moved by their melancholic sound.

This year the apple tree blossomed
While last year we got none by fall
Helped along by my feeble care
She burst with fruit, enough for all

Which means we’ve some sorting to do
These for rabbits, good ones for you
And big Hornets, black with white stripes
The birds ate a few, apple moths too.

The children watched their tree progress
They climbed it more than once to test
By Labour Day the fruit was due
They learned from dad to pick the best

Strange, we saw when approaching the tree
a Dove leave its branches hurriedly
They make a sound with every wing beat
Like they need oil, flapping squeakily.

The children climbed, as kids do,
And, I raked apples on the ground
It was Charlie who saw it first
the bird’s secrets had been found.

Hidden carefully so you wouldn’t see
From below it didn’t look like much
Howie strained to have a look
Dad took pictures, no one touched

We hurried knowing ma was near
Two perfect eggs waiting like treasure
So gathered our apples in separate piles
And left the rest, just for good measure

Today we go back to check on things
Staying away all week, despite the fun
We hope she’s there, if not we’ll hurry
To make applesauce before were done.


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