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The Doves of Victoria Station

Adrian Southin

The pigeons are missing
their toes; digits reduced
by disease, incest
or the crush of a shoe heel.
One hobbles by
on two fat stubs,
plumage ingrown
and moulting.

One, a dove
(if not for the granite
tail and covert feathers)
has no left foot
white tufts ending
at a bare pink joint,
the right the only
fully-formed foot
in the station.
Picking at flakes
of a fried pastry,
the pigeon walks
under my suspended boot.

‘The Doves of Victoria Station’ was published in 2016 as part of the UEA Undergraduate Creative Writing Anthology, Undertow.

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