A Poem by Robert Holman

I remember sitting out in the front yard
with my granny and papa beneath the wings of an oak.
A plump bird landed on the power-line.
“Na’, look, that there is a dove!” my grandpa said.
Pressed against the sky a grey-brown bird
nervously rolling its head in its speckled breast.
Between the smell of gasoline and sweat
my mind flew away. I’d forgotten what he said.
“Ain’t n’ dove. That’s a witch-a-ma-call-it: a pigeon!”
“Damn it, Eunice, let me teach the boy!”
“Whooo Lord ham mercy, jist right about er-thing.”
He pointed his rough, cracked finger and whispered,
“Na’ look, Eunice, that dove can fly off
–I can’t.”