Uncle Joe by Stan Long

Joe's dovecote
was a narrow spartan shed
enough for
thirty racing pigeons
cozy on their perches
retired
captain he needed them
reminders of the wind
freedom of the sky
the wild heart
driver
of all desire the birds
gave back what he'd lost
bright eyes knew him
one
was his champion
and I picked her out
a red-eyed pure white
Brussel
how did you know he said
it's the blood I said
yours
in mine a family thing
nous I said
the white dove
cooing in my hand


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