local_library Just a Crow

by Eve Adamson

Published in Issue No. 86 ~ July, 2004
Crow realized God loved him–

Otherwise, he would have dropped dead.

So that was proved.

– Ted Hughes

This one’s just a plain crow, pal,

Flapping its wings as if to fly

While grasping tight with claws the fence,

Trying for nothing, or just to try.

It isn’t lark or dove or linnet,

It isn’t mild or sycophantic.

It rolls its shrouded, shrieking caw

Along the wire, remotely frantic.

So here I am, peeling meaning,

Tossing it back like so much trash.

The crow protests, a frayed black mess

Of hollow bones and air and flesh,

No rarae aves. Common ones,

A dime a dozen, thieves of glitter,

Black lace fan of fancy panic,

Midwestern plague, sycamore clutter.

Who’ll sing a psalm for days long gone?

The nightingale? The darkling thrush?

Who’ll catch the blood and sew the shroud,

Tally the holdings of hand and bush?

And who has time to wrestle down

A God beyond, or one who’s here,

Sucking on brandy and cigars,

Scoffing at an erstwhile fear,

The cruciate bloom of a man’s first lie,

Of staying afloat or drawing breath?

Not I said the fly with his little eye Just before he’s smacked to death.

A rook takes off, flaps across the sky,

A severed wing in its bright black beak.

And who am I to write that down?

I’d rather let the sparrow speak.

account_box More About

Eve Adamson is a freelance writer in Iowa City with an MFA in poetry writing from the University of Florida. Recently her poems have appeared in the Iowa Review, Metrical Salt and the England Review and the City of Iowa City chose one of her poems to post on the city bus. She has also authored or co-authored 27 books, none of them having anything to do with poetry.