Someone overturned
the pigeon’s nest,
dropping out the eggs
onto the fire escape.
They smashed
against the iron landing,
instantly killing
the half-formed creatures
among the yolk and albumen
and broken bits of shell.

I’d seen the mating
atop an air conditioner –
how they twisted
their iridescent necks
around each other
in passionate embrace.
The feathers shone
emerald green, soft
fuchsia – how beautiful,
I thought, and saw
how he mounted her.
I felt privileged
to see it and carry
the memory away.

Last year,
of their three eggs,
one rolled out
of the nest,
one was rotten,
and one hatched.
I remember it
right after birth
so pitiful and scraggly,
it seemed unlikely
to survive,
but it grew fast
and in one day
learned to fly.
From the first,
awkward efforts
I wondered if
it’d make it;
it was gone
the next day.

But this year
there are no
more eggs,
no chicks
or fledgling
to leave the nest.
Those who despise
will despise me
for writing this:
their life
is as worthy
as any other.