On Offerings or Doves

The Lord liked his meat well done,
oxen, lamb or pigeon, which must’ve been
nearer to dove when they journeyed out of Egypt.
The burning fat smelled good, no one denied

this, even if the point was to atone, lay a hand
on the head of beast or bird before splashing its blood
against the altar. The Tent, a messy place.
Having wrung no necks, I crouch

in the backyard watching two mourning doves
huddled in the stones. They are as gray as
brown, with speckled wings and a sleek
chinlessness that gives gleam to black beak

and eye. In a seeming hunch, mother
and nestling or nearly fledgling, rest
full side against full side. At the mouth
of the great tent of this city, they could be hurt

or passing time. Later, I find them
waiting or not waiting on the grill. How brave.
When they lift off I don’t see it, have never
been part of the decision making of doves. I’m sorry  

they didn’t choose better, the suburbs,
where at least there’s a thatch of grass.
I’m still learning the subtleties of sacrifice.
A bird and I make different choices
when we consider giving over to the Lord. 
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