• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 12
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The Pigeon House

Remember the Pigeon House?
Across from the walkway at the river, just before it was properly built, and just after that time the army helicopter searched for the boy who went in. What was his name?

The smell got to me, I could never be in it long, but life was strung together with dares.
I don't recall much, just rafters liberated from any second floor
and all the birds nesting in scrums along the beams.

You used the bones of the house to reach the nests and stole an egg to keep.

On the way home, down near the river, we passed the older ones with the egos and the drink. Too busy firing back slaggings, neither of us were bothered by the football they kicked at you, until you heaved.

I'd forgotten all about it but won't again:
the embryo and gloop you threw from your pocket.

I told my ma about it a few days later - just that you'd touched an egg. She shouted about the house and warned me: if we disturb the nest, the pigeon hen won't go back to it, and it will never hatch.

It made us both feel worse. I still do.

Had I known that you'd moved back to that same street
to your mother's home to die, I would have asked you if you remembered.