By | 12 March 2012

The crows on my walk build nets
from roof top to tree top in threads
of communication, each juncture a rook–
Kaww Kaww–of the arrival and departure
of my comings and goings.

They know my hair top, my face, my walk,
that I am sympathetic,
that I wouldn’t ridicule or mock
my knowledge that crows lose altitude
and are forced to glide–mid-stride–to speak,

“Here! Here!–Why don’t you know?”
and the echo call from another rook
rocking on top of a pine, “I know! I know!
Watch the jay that nests below”–a corvus cousin–

once sibling in size, now Napoleon stature,
guarding her eggs by avian jousting
with beaks, tools with which to fend, fight, and feint,
the common crow–too big to scare.

Come! Come! to the corvus court–
a study in social proximics–
where Alala stands in the middle
of a concentric circle in judgment:
the pecked of the pecking order.

Balding and scared–for what crow crime?
six surround–jump in–jump back–Kaww Kaww–
did she take a mate meant for another?

A dozen, further back–Kaww Kaww–have opinions too.
In hunger, did she eat her own eggs?
The net stretches out to twenty and more.

Was it Alala’s time to die? To be consumed
is the proper order of things. If she cannot conform,
she cannot persist with the masses in a corvus nest.

I, like Alala, refuse to conform to a social order
that eats what it doesn’t understand.

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