Morning Doves

At 6 a.m. the open summer window carries
in the coolest breeze and coo-est cooing from
morning doves on the wires in the alley -
the coo-cooing brings the morning to that grace
where bees and hummingbird moths and butterflies
all suckle at the same flowers.

Perhaps you'll be watering new pansy transplants
when from right over head, the coo-cooing
flutes down so you can feel this magical
transparent prayer washing over you.

Looking down from early morning sun-fire
you can see these puffy breasted doves
dawdle along the lawn in search of bugs
then see them so closely you can feel
Christ's last supper in the gentleness of their eyes
and St. Augustine's heart in their gentle heads,
soft tuft of scalp feathers, coo-cooing.

The priest at mass said that when
we protect endangered species
we are performing a sacred act.
Now I know, and you do too, why St. Francis,
compelled by no other reason than their loveliness,
opened their cages and let the doves fly free.

--James Cilett