This Old Tree of Mine; When Doves Cry

I noticed that the lonesome Dove I named “Prince” so long ago was in his usual spot today on one of Patience’s higher branches, the lower branches full of silent sparrows.

The dove looked at me while I was on the porch having a cigarette, and then flew to the neighbor’s tree, searching for her, for hours he has been flying back and forth.

It is said that animals have no concept of the past or the future, only instinct and the present day, and maybe that is a blessing, for I know he saw his mate yesterday all pretty and red unlike her usual colors of white and grey, but today is another day and so he waits for her, not understanding that she will never return.

Yesterday afternoon I heard the familiar ringing in my ear that means a sound pitch is forever lost to me now, it comes with the territory of my very loud job, and today none of the lively sounds, chirps, clicks and twitters are coming from the other birds as they were yesterday.

It’s not because I can’t hear them, they are just not very chatty today, maybe because they can hear him cry and instinctually understand that silence is the only gift they can give him.

If this is what it sounds like when doves cry, I thank the gods who took that pitch from me, as it stands his cries are still deafening to me, even if the sound is just the flutter of his wings carried on hopeless air.

In Loving Memory of Penelope, 2004-2009

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