Prison Pigeon by M. Serapis Freeman

On the windowsill, through the mirrored glass.  A mite crawls out from under his wing and returns.  Turning his head nearly around, he preens aggressively with his beak.  I have come to love him and all of his kind.  Here in this desolate desert, the iridescent hue of his neck feathers the only color.

He looks up, sideways eye pointed skyward.  Is there a hawk above?  But a few seconds and he returns again to groom.  His attention is captured by his reflection.  Head cocked, questioning: “Who’s that handsome fellow there?”  But soon he is back to primping, perhaps preparing for the competition.

A silent minute goes by.  He looks up again.  And then, in an instant, he is gone.

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