Cathy Barber

Mourning Doves Curse

May your lives be shortened
and your eggs fall broken from your nests.
May a boy with a bow
and an arsenal of arrows
Move next door
and make your death his hobby.
May his aim be true
and his determination deep.
May a mourning dove blight
infect the neighborhood.
May it grab you each
by the throat and squeeze.
May you drop from the wires
like overripe fruit.
May a sudden freeze
make you flee south, far from me.
May you lose your bearings
and end up in the Yukon.
For you must finally and forever
release whatever false grief you harbor.
And get the hell away
from my ears and windows.
For I will conjure demons
and dismembering spells.
I will finish you all,
just to cease your baseless mourning.
For I have had my share of grief,
and it does not sound like yours.

Cathy Barber’s work has been published recently in Right Hand Pointing, Barefoot Review, and is forthcoming in The Cancer Poetry Project anthology. She recently completed an MFA in poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and holds an MA in English from California State University East Bay. She is a past president of the board and a member of the advisory council of California Poets in the Schools.  Her humor blog, Is It Just Me, can be found at  She lives in San Mateo, California.

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