Fall 2014, Volume 17

Poetry by Sarah C. Harwell


The mourning doves weren’t mourning
they were hungry god knows why they were living
in a paradise of rosemary and artichokes and spilt wine
they lived on the sea or rather at the sea’s edges
every morning they cooed their cooing
not so mournful there were two of them
they had nothing to complain about that I could see
they had a blue sea and a blue sky and
maybe they were color blind
or maybe that’s dog
that night we had a picnic and set the food
on the edge of the sea and there was roast chicken
and the mourning doves chose to eat their fellow bird
having no feeling for the chicken
then ate the quiche set on the edge of oblivion
pecking and pecking it to death
quiche of ham and eggs and milk
they ate egginess
again odd but nature is efficient
and food is food and sparrows eat the blue jay’s eggs
and stab out the mother’s eyes
and first there was one dove and then there were two
and a third one circled overhead
which we do sometimes
and the next day the third dove I saw him
he came closer and closer to the slim female
he was all blown up with feathers
and she stayed still weighing her options
as he came within a millimeter of her grey silky body
she was like lingerie like a pin-up 40s girl
she was all that he wanted
that and some quiche
which she had eaten not sharing
but he didn’t hold it against her bowing and cooing
until her fluttering stopped fluttering
and she looked at him knowing




Sarah C. Harwell is the author of the poetry collection Sit Down Traveler. Her poems were also collected in a book highlighting emerging poets titled Three New Poets. She has had poems published in various publications including Poetry, TriQuarterly, the Washington Post and Dossier. She is the Associate Director of the MFA Program at Syracuse University where she teaches fiction and poetry to undergraduates.