Pigeon Fanciers

Pigeon Fanciers

They call them pigeon
Fanciers,

Which is worrying,

Not pigeon breeders,
Or pigeon racers,
Or tired old men
In flat caps,
Exhausted as a wrung-out

Rainy weekend,

And these same tired men
Read the back pages

Of the News of the World
For the sport
And flick through the rest,

Lining
For the bottom of the loft.

Of course,
The birds do the work,
Carry the skill.
The yellow, nicotined
Hands, pock-marked by
Steel splinters,

Oiled into the whorls
Of the fingerprint,
Are too arthritic
Or just too
Work worn
To be energetic,

But pass love
Tenderly
Into the breast of a precious racer.

© Martin Porter 2008

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