In a town so quiet it might have been
filled with nothing but the hungry
dead, three yellow birds hunted worms
on a front lawn –
three lithe lemons, or three candy
sticks, moist from the licking
When the sky opened, mourning doves
fluttered toward the trees, eyes flaming,
wings obscured by smoke.
Before they could spring back into air
two small girls gathered
them in baskets woven of weed
and straw and the long, sticky sinews of frogs.