The Mourning Dove

By Ellen Hayward

Early dawn    I walked alone
barefoot on warm pavement
shorts on my summer legs
and came upon a mourning dove

I’d heard one from afar
many times before       its crooning
a soft blanket on my shoulders

I followed    careful       silent
Violet feathers shone pink and gold
under grey sky and faded moon

Then      it fluttered and sang for me

full-throated and pure

an offering      a psalm of sadness

and light

Ellen Hayward lives in Santa Barbara and has studied art and writing at SBCC Continuing Education, the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, and the Santa Barbara Poetry Conference. Her work has been published in Miramar.