Cigar smoke and yellow ginkgo leaves,

apple tart crumbs and the coos of eager pigeons

that startle at the least sign, simultaneous soar to the safety

of the trees or the foolish apartment building with no spikes to deter

their sitting.

I toss them pieces of pastry, and they come so close as to touch.

They peck at and under my feet,

flashes of silver and grey, teal and mauve—

the blinking orange eyes and tenderly pink feet,

strange little strut, proud promenade of the prey.

The roses are still blooming in November, here,

and they move jauntily through the fallen petals,

look up at bowers of rose hips as the tobacco lingers,

wondering when the next crumbs will fall.

© 2020 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.

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