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Poetry

‘Abu Taha keeps pigeons on his rooftop’

April C. George

Abu Taha keeps pigeons on his rooftop
                        in Baghdad.
Slate-grays, ivory-whites, ring-necks, spots.
Cucucuruing when Abu comes, at sunset,
releases them to the city sky.
A dying sun glows orange on buildings.
They fly spirals through neighborhoods,
are circling silhouettes against
                        a blue-domed mosque, shimmering.
Ducking under a pair of Black Hawks
                        on patrol.
Finally, soaring over the Tigris,
before returning to Abu,
for their handful of seeds tossed
                        on the ground.
Only birds avoid checkpoints, traffic,
angry men exploding, butchery.
Only birds go where they like these days
                        in Baghdad.

(Inspired from the first paragraph of a Washington Post article by Terry McCarthy, June 3, 2007, titled “Life in the Inferno of Baghdad”)

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