Waddling around, 

On my short legs,

I find some fries on the ground,

And they are still fresh, 

I start pecking at them with my beak

And think 

This was a lucky find, this will make me plump

After the fries, 

I peck around some more,

Someone left a cigarette in this parking lot,

It’s no good to eat, it smells too bad 

And then I realize 

The whole place has a smoky smell 

Just like that cigarette

I’ve been in this city

For so long

I’ve grown accustomed to the humans

And though they have flaws,

They are interesting to me,

And they leave many snacks

On the ground

One time I met a seagull by the harbor,

Where humans sail on the glistening blue water,

She asked me why I stick so close 

To where the most humans cluster,

And why not spend more time by the water?

And she agreed

That humans leave good snacks

“But in the end, don’t you fear them?”

She asked

And I thought that was silly, 

They don’t have claws or fangs,

I’d rather be scared of foxes

Or owls

Or red-tailed hawks

But when I was waddling on the streets,

And plump from the fries,

I saw a lonely human in the corner,

And he looked so sad,

And he had a cup that was full of coins 

And another human came and he barked

Something that didn’t sound nice

Then I understood what the seagull meant,

She feared humans for the way they treated each other,

And I know I steal food from other pigeons,

But it’s never because of the colour of their feathers

I have gray wings speckled with black marks 

And a green neck

And I know some who look more plain 

Some with flecks of blue or pink 

And some that are just white

But it never mattered to me

I was bored of waddling around,

And needed something to satisfy my curiosity 

So I took off into the sky,

Which humans can’t do 

Unless if it’s in one of those big metal things

That can’t flap their wings,

And I went to the huge tower 

That can be seen from anywhere in the city

It was a nice place to perch and think

We birds are ancient,

With our dinosaur blood,

And my red eyes have seen enough to know, 

That such civilizations

Are fun while they last

But they always seem like they’re heading towards

Inevitable collapse

And when that happens

I’ll miss the snacks

But I’m sure we birds

Will be just fine without you

Why I Wrote This Piece

This poem is a literary experiment told from the point of view of a pigeon in the streets of Toronto. It describes the pigeon scavenging for food and observing humans. Though it is a simple-minded bird, it can tell that humans do not treat each other well and that the city contains inequality. Several locations in Toronto are alluded to, such as Harbourfront Centre, where the seagull meets a pigeon, and the CN tower where the pigeon perches and reflects at the end of the poem. While these landmarks are specific, the problems described in the poem, such as wealth inequality and environmental degradation, are not unique to Toronto.



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