“Stoned Pigeons” by Cheryl Spinner

Haym Solomon Square.
It’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and it knows it.
Just look at it, standing all firm and resolute,
Aware that it has outlived its ever changing surroundings.
But the monument is really nothing more than a glorified tombstone.
A thick slab of concrete with markings that seem to whisper,
“Haym Solomon could taste the hot air against his lips just like the rest of us.”

The monument scared the heck out of me as a kid.
For the longest time I thought Haym Solomon was buried under that slab of rock.
And the stone still stands, still scaring the little kids who walk past,
Still flaunting its immortality against the beating sun.

The pigeons come by every once and a while.
They usually end up swarming the stone,
Hiding it completely with their dark feathered bodies,
So that the stone doesn’t look like a stone anymore,
But a pile of black feathers.
Sometimes they’ll swoop down and leaping off
So they can strut their stuff across the grass.

It’s a dark and dirty place, Haym Solomon Square.
A place where death is shoved in your face
Whether you asked for it or not,
And most likely it came unwanted.
But it’s hard to leave.
And you’ll end up lingering there,
Like the rest of us,
Unable to leave the sturdy rock and its hovering pigeons.

Cheryl Spinner currently lives in Durham, N.C., where she is a doctoral student in the English Department at Duke University. She received her Master's Degree in English at Georgetown University in the spring of 2010. A native of Queens, N.Y., her writing intertwines yiddishe kopf with a certain kind of New Yawk flair. You can follow her research blog at electricladieszap.wordpress.com.