Monday, October 3, 2011
What was the pigeon's last conscious thought at the instant captured here so hauntingly on glass?
There was nothing tentative about this swoop down the open atrium, no hint of trouble—wing beat is frozen just as down-stroke began; head forward, dead on.
Even the feet felt the impact…or did they, striking as they did a split second after the head?
Did the bird mistake the dark, inner space of the stairwell as refuge— perhaps from grasping talons?
Might death have been swifter, kinder this way than by a hundred tearing bites of falcon beak?
(The medium that renders such a white, ghostly impression is fine dust accrued from the natural abrasion of the pigeon's finest feathers—called powder feathers.)