A flicker reveals
their horror, their wonder,
small white faces aglow in the oppressive shadow
as the scientist begins his drawing-room experiment.
his hands hold life and death in their balance.
Innocence turns its face
while science awaits the spectacle of
the little dove, emissary of peace, the holy spirit
captured in a glass prison for its voyeuristic pleasure.
With each clench of his fist, he steals another breath
from the fragile, feathered form.
What does his gaze direct you to watch –
a kind of magic or a callow death
as curiosity becomes the end of innocence.