It’s been a year since I began trying to make friends with the crows in my neighborhood and I think I’ve finally done it. So, for this 10th installment of my foray into the world of crows, I’ve written an almost-poem-list.
i. Cameo appearance: She inspects me through one eye, always one, her left, illuminati, the only one she’ll show me, and while she watches, her silhouette cuts a perfect hole into the sky.
ii. Black feathery shadow drops down, silent as snow and just as soft, darkness falling on two twisted branches.
iii. They never caw just once. They repeat themselves, in twos or threes, like old timers waiting (solemnly, patiently) for me to remember the mother tongue,
iv. but amongst themselves, they use a chummy tone that sounds like gurgled ks, like chuckled gravel. [Hear crows talking.]
v. A crow can remember and locate one single human face forever, wherever, even years later, even in a sea of faces, while I can’t recognize even one.
vi. I walk out the door one day and the sky is dark. What happened to the sun? Never before have I seen so many crows at once–the telephone wire dips and sways, the air is thick with beating wings–and I try to count (twenty-nine, thirty, thirty-one), but they keep rearranging themselves (thimblerig, sleight of hand) and when they all began to caw, my world is the epicenter of a raucous flurry.
vii. Friendly shadows follow my car and wait outside my front door. They swoop up behind me, announcing their presence. I used to think someone was spying on me; now I know.
viii. That cagey strut down the painted line, tycoons with thumbs hooked in back pockets; the terrible elegance of a hobo in a top hat or a tap dancing prizefighter.
ix. People are to crows. Crows are to people. Don’t be afraid.
x. Ink blot is to Rorschach. Calligraphy is to still life. Write is to tell.
To see the other things I’ve learned, click here to read previous installments of Making Friends with Crows.