IN WHICH A LADY CROW CONSIDERS HER CIRCUMSTANCES
No romantic, he warned me right off—
Cuckoo, hitch your wagon to this star
and it’s a crow’s life, all dirty tricks
and rot-gut cuisine, snaffling up
the last slice of pepperoni pizza. Now
I’m stuck here, tree-high, nest-bound,
bored out of my violet-flecked head, but, hey,
someone’s got to do it, sit on these eggs.
Plunderers everywhere. Turn your back
and a blue jay will rob you blind. I don’t believe
in happiness but I do caw something
like joy when I see his glossiness pummeling
the dusk-sharp distance, I do weep
glad tears when he’s winging toward me,
road kill clamped between his beak.
Love him or leave him? You tell me.
His cornfields and back alley dumpsters,
his thieving genius and high wire acts,
the showy, pyrotechnic stunts.
This life with this crow—
witty as a pickpocket, shiny as tin foil.
Oh my dark carrion, circling, circling
From Summertime Swamp-Love (Palimpsest, 2014) by Patricia Young
(Illustration by Nicholas Di Genova.)