mourning doves

The drone of a single-prop plane, hidden like the horizon by trees. A mourning dove calls. The sun slowly submerges in a mud bath of clouds.

White sky. The sun is a bright spot like the eye of a blind cave salamander. Doves flutter up from the cattails on piccolo wings.

Strong sun, deep shadow. Off in the woods, two deer-shaped silhouettes glide through a sunlit glade. A mourning dove coos a single note.

Deep blue, cloudless sky. A mourning dove tries a variation on its usual dirge, the third and fourth notes higher, less hopeless-sounding.

Trees rock and sway in the wind—still the quiet wind of winter, hissing only in the pines. The startled flute of a mourning dove’s wings.

Two A-10 aircraft roar over; I get a glimpse of the nearer one through the trees. A dove flees on whistling wings. A vulture keeps circling.