Homing Pigeon

Pigeon Hole

Chris Lord

I could not understand him

The perimeters imposed

By his script being too narrow

To allow improvisation

And I lacking a memory

For motionless trivia

Found no joy in its repetition.


Each word, a homing pigeon,

An emergency delivered

In paper, like a cigarette

With only a tobacco stain

To disembark the senses.


He spoke only in haiku

A single-petaled flower

That answers before

The tension has risen

To its requisite tilt.


I could never unravel

His monosyllables

Within each yes and no

A world of possibilities

Tethered to scaly legs

And wings that lap the air

Like a basking tongue.

One might even mistake ritual

For sanity or happiness

If they are too proud

To admit the futility

Of their posture.


Perhaps he was empty

A blunt pencil vaulting

From page to envelope

With a single message between

A story, only two words long

A story, that says everything

And yet gives no hint

Of either ceremony or offense


I read that letter, its copies,

In his grimacing caricature

Knowing how very sorry

He must have been

To enter that nightmare alone

And I, with my coat on

Could not find the precise door

Otherwise, I would have followed.