Could’ve Been So Easy

in shallow concrete recesses,
forfeited by the morning sun,
strutting on sills and railings,
he coos to his pigeon brood,
a clamouring assonance
permeating the hot air,
as they drop like grey leaves
around a fistful of scattered grain;

I wonder if he knows glass from steel,
if he can tell spice from herb,
poised on the ledge, on the edge,
trading secrets,
with the lady from 2B,
or that couple from 16A,
breathing our air,
living our lives,
he carries my heart on ashen wings,
the canopy, a nameless memory;

way above is the last palisade,
beyond it the open blue,
only once I saw him fly up to that gate,
to watch the eagles floating
on ever rising waves,
the fear heavy in his bones,
his voice bare, only once,
his wings brushing the cheek of freedom,
it could’ve been so easy;

sometimes I see him steal a glance,
his breath catching mid song,
here he learnt to walk on asphalt,
lord of the dark urban morass,
but that unmarked vastness
with the soaring wings,
feathers tumbling along unmarked trails,
an azure cage from which
there was no escape;

my heart snared in his trembling claws,
trading secrets, living our lives,
tumbling along blue unmarked trails,
love, it could’ve been so easy.

For the midweek prompt at Poets United: Caged and Free
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25 thoughts on “Could’ve Been So Easy

  1. Could it? I wonder which is really the cage? You take us high, so high!
    I love this part particularly: “here he learnt to walk on asphalt,
    lord of the dark urban morass,
    but that unmarked vastness
    with the soaring wings . . . “

    Like

  2. This is one of my favourite of your poems, Rajani! I love “he carries my heart on ashen wings”, and “his wings brushing the cheek of freedom”. We both chose birds with similar perspectives. I can feel the human condition in your bird’s situation, dutifully raising his young, while peeping at that great expanse of blue…….I resonate!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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