Questioning, in the Plague Time, This Murder* of Crows

With heart urgent flow, flow—
jet stream winds disordered
by climate change sweep our continent.
Form high altitude spirals, dive
west to east, north to south,
and north again, to finally die
in the Bay of Fundy.

Just so, we die and rise back
into the world’s breath,
swirling round us, round again. 
We who strike so many killing blows
forced now to Stop….Step back!
as we try to rise again into the arms
of this no-fooling-round rough world’s

game of do and don’t, say or sing.
Stop!  Step back….I say to unwelcome
advance.  No face-mask?  One body
length dissolving?  Whirl and go
another way.  Still, don’t we all
yearn to step forward into jump, dance,
embrace, tiptoe off into the meadow grass

where the limp-winged crow,
wandering, feeds, while another crow—
angered by her damage?—attacks
and pecks, draws a cawing crowd. 
Why this tragic game?   Is there
any other way to strike balance? 
For hours the two peck and flap,

tumble over, around each other. 
Then at the dinner table through window
glass we see they lie exhausted side
by side on the ground we tend
every spring summer fall with faithful
care.  Next morning, no sign
of either crow, or their struggle. 

No stray plucked feathers anywhere.
    * re: the group name “a murder of crows”: “there is a folktale
     that crows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow.”


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