(The day after the nuclear accident
at Chernoble, several hundred homing
pigeons competing in an annual race
were released in Lyons , Frances for a
destination in Brussels , Belgium . Unlike
previous races, only a few of the pigeons
fantasy birds visit earth.
Mozart knew them,
so did Freud.
For those who will listen
they tell stories
Revolutionaries shrill their slogans,
cannibals and cardinals
intone their forbidden canticles.
They dust sunsets with beatific visions.
Now they are scattered over Europe ,
lost in a nuclear storm,
the cord to intuition
clipped in the wisp of a millisecond.
They sit dazed in the pine forests,
like tiny children beaten for laughing.
An official inquiry has concluded:
“Many questions still abound.”
I want to know
what exhortation they carried,
how they will go back,
whether their eyes have grown narrow or wide,
if they feel as I did,
a boy falling backward
off a porch into a spreader bush,
hearing the laughter of aunts and uncles,
my mother saying, “You’ll be all right.”
Already I had entered
the unremitting dark.