Turtledoves Mate for Life (draft 2)

As I drove into the country today,
I spotted a turtledove
perched on a log. The bird
was a soft grey that hinted at pink,
its feathers lightly dappled brown.
The little bird’s mate was, no doubt,
close by, perhaps watching
from behind the leathery magnolia leaves
or hopping across the ground below,
gathering twigs for their nest.

I clutched the papers in my lap,
one hand gripping the steering wheel
while the other clasped
the envelope that sanctioned our separation.
Black signatures seemed to burn
through the beige sheath, sizzling
the un-tanned band of skin
on the third finger of my left hand.

Turtledoves mate for life
said the voice of my mother.
And humans no longer seem to,
said the voice in my head.


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