To a Pigeon in Paris – a poem by Julia Caroline Knowlton

To a Pigeon in Paris
Your iridescent breast
deep purple, silver, magenta fast flutter
shimmering mother of pearl
the same as shells in the sea

Your red-rimmed, dull stupid eye
senseless & opaque, your rhythmic
beak peck at bakery crumbs
regular as hands on a clock
Autumn yellow leaves
sticking to wet cobblestone
people draped on bent cane chairs
faces to the sun drinking coffee and wine
Above all the single flap of your wings
against cold cobalt sky—
the supreme sound of it, one fast clap
way too close to me, mere inches from my face
Thank you for your ordinary, ideal flight
allowing my tired heart instinct to alight

Julia Caroline Knowlton PhD MFA is a poet and Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. As a young poet, she won an Academy of American Poets Prize. In 2018 she was named a Georgia Author of the Year and in 2022, her work was publicly installed as part of the Georgia Poetry in the Parks project. The author of five books, her poems have been published in journals such as ONE ART, Trouvaille Review, Roanoke Review and Rust & Moth.

1 Comment

  1. Very evocative. I recently saw a garden warbler and am amused by the field book descriptions of it as ‘nonedescript’ – this being its significant feature!


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