As I write, there are two pigeons cooing on my balcony, and it's music to my ears and a blessing.
Previously, I raised generations of these gentle creatures, and they kept my life and heart full.
Then, one day, without notice, they disappeared. The building issued a zero-tolerance policy of my feathered friends and were trapping/killing them on our rooftop!
Worse, since we live near the airport, the city drastically increased the hawk population (their natural predators) and my beloved, winged guests stopped visiting.
Now, out of the blue, one just landed on my balcony railing and I tried to sit at my desk as still as could be. It began cooing and its mate arrived, shortly.
Glad to have them back, and smiling with my entire being to see one solitary white feather floating from above...
Here's a poem I wrote:
Where the birds come
to catch their breath,
that's where Iive
-on the top floor*
*Some time ago, I raised pigeons
generations of feathered friends,
watered and fed in a large flower pot
on my balcony, where one laid an egg*
*As they grew, I'd watch them scan the skies
—for crows, hawks, falcons— and I'd think
of the inescapable vulnerability
of all who live beneath that tent of blue...*
*My winged companions have all flown away,
at Home, perched somewhere in the vast sky
from where I borrowed them for a time
now, it is my turn to scan the heavens*
*In hopes of their return, or
in search of some kind of sign?*
© Yahia Lababidi
[Photographs and collage are mine]