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Gary D. Smith: Two Poems

Dove Hunting | Firenze

Dove Hunting

She lay in his hands like a huge
white heart, pumping fear —
her wet wings and plumage
gauzed over tenuous bone,
eyes tipped with alarm.

The dog had somehow delivered her
undamaged, neither clipped nor cleaved,
and all inspection revealed nothing.
So the man removed his grasp,

and she stayed
in his cupped hands,
her eyes darting, watching him
waiting for the question,
and its answer.

She turreted her head,
having heard the sharp breaths
of the dog, its paws crunching
on the dirty snow-pack, as it too waited
for the master's question
and its answer.

The man gazed up to sky
as if the answer lived there,
but no souls above freezing
lived there, and his eyes swam
with storms.

The answer came, but not the one
he expected. She lifted —
blowing down into his hair,
talons two small pecks jumping off.
He laughed, his dog barking into the canopy.
The answer lay in his hand, one small egg.


I found the streets, loggias, and courtyards,
that led to that beaconing point
where the eye is drawn,
the cupola of Bruneleschi's Santa Maria del Fiore.

There are no prayers to hold up that dome,
and though the prophets preside on the cathedral walls,
the heart forgets, and the stone
enthrones only the forgetful.

Have we seen Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise,
whose meaning we ignore, and the crowds pass,
the sea under the bridges pass,
the clouds over the folded roofs pass?

We ask no questions, just observe
the passage of heads above shoulders,
faces pointed downwards, under tilted hats,
people passing their shadows on the way to death.

Poet's Biography:
  Gary D. Smith was born in Seattle and currently resides in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles with his wife and two dogs. When not working as a Computer Analyst/Programmer he enjoys reading and writing poetry, freshwater fishing, and smoking cigars. His poems have appeared online in Kimera, Disquieting Muses, and The Horsethief's Journal.

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