Still Shy

After all these years
she still wears
that Bardot scarf
and flats are de rigeur
for  evening saunters
by city rivers.

With a falter of shallow
breath, she stumbles
on uneven pavement
of the embankment
between streetlights,
a sunset blush on her cheeks.

He carefully grips her arm,
feels her fluttering heart,
no longer hawk and prey apart
but a pair of ruffled pigeons
preserving their decorum
and talking about art.

After years of waiting,
they learned to flex their wings
of paper and ink,
fly flags and kites of feelings
with no regrets,
no puffballs of hate.

Arm in arm,
content  together,
two grey pigeons
stroll in autumn’s afterglow,
finishing each other’s
sentences as they go.

Kim M. Russell, 2018

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My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend Challenge: Play Tennis with a Ghost

This weekend, Brendan would like us to play tennis with a ghost by taking a poem by another poet we respond to deeply and write a response. He says that we may be stirred by the theme or it might be the rhyme scheme or alliteration – whatever it is about the poem, we should write a poem as a letter to the original and make the myth our own.

I am very fond of Seamus Heaney’s poems; the one I chose is ‘Twice Shy’, which you can read and listen to on YouTube by following this link:

58 thoughts on “Still Shy

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous, Kim!💞 I must admit that I love this poem way better than the original and was left breathless by; “He carefully grips her arm, feels her fluttering heart, no longer hawk and prey apart but a pair of ruffled pigeons preserving their decorum and talking about art.”💞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Time is a great healer and association a great relaxant when two people feel comfirtable in each others company even though the years have passed since their first encounters. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Magnificent Kim. The image of old pigeons walking along the embankment discussing art and finishing each other’s sentences…. is sublime. Dare I say that you did better than Heany? 👏👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just beautiful — no longer hawk and prey but a pair of ruffled pigeons…you have a wonderful way of describing the changes over the years. A bit of melancholy. A bit of nostalgia. All around – just good!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this! All the birds! I bet they also create art and finish each other’s sentences. And this couple? Love them and their victory of equality! (Great choice of poem.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know that some people denounce them as vermin, but I like pigeons and I’m glad you like them too! I watch them when I wait at railway stations and love their walk, their curious eyes and throaty conversations.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful! Wonderfully constructed … lovely images tenderly sketched … perfect. Conjured forth, for me, the opening lines of the Robert Browning poem: ‘“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations Myrna and thank you for reading and commenting. We have a significant wedding anniversary next week and we’ll be celebrating with the pigeons in St Mark’s Square in Venice!


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