Learning to Be Still

All afternoon it rains on the traffic
outside my window. It’s nothing new,
but I can’t get the thought of pigeons,
strange magistrates of sickness and beauty,
carved away from me, or how it’s been two years since I’ve
stood in a line of waitresses at the hot-food window
of a restaurant in Hackensack, New Jersey,
the row of us identical in black slacks and kitchen shoes,
like pigeons stacked along a telephone wire, waiting
to serve fish and curry rice to strangers.

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