Pat Jones


by James B. Nicola

What it was doing in my bathtub, I don’t know,
the dirty thing. I must have left the door
to my terrace ajar. But I live on the forty-fifth floor,
where gulls and pigeons aren’t supposed to go.
And when I’d left that morning, the sky was blue,
there was no wind, no reason to suspect
the weather to lose its temper and affect
their homing sense. At work that day I too
for no real reason had been irritable.
I nearly cursed the guano. When two guys
from security came to take it down, I heard
the larger mutter, “What a beautiful
white bird!” — True, but it came as a surprise,
his sudden tenderness, for such a bird.  

James B. Nicola has had ninety-nine poems appear in a score of publications including The Lyric, Nimrod, Upstart Crow, Mobius, and Cider Press Review, and has received the Dana Literary Award for poetry. He is a stage director by profession; his book Playing the Audience won a CHOICE Award as one of the best books of the year.