Another (Damn) Crow Poem

Bernardo Wade | Poetry

Once the leaves abandon the tree,
the crows, who seem to sense
the loneliness of a limb,
rise up like musical notes
syncopated by the brisk
winter wind. In one swift
descent, the roost glides
down with such rhythm,
the elm seems to welcome
them with the outstretched arms
of an old familiar friend.
I watch them huddle close
like strange fruit nestling
warmth—the survival of kin.
People give crows a bad rep.
I bet none of them get to be young
& foolish, because no one
imagines tenderness from feathers
so black. I wonder if the mother
crow sits her chicks down to impart
the resilience behind black wings,
preening their ancestral wisdom
with the most gentle pecks:
kisses that say I love you, I love you
when the world won’t & thinks
you’re a myth or a bad omen
or names a murder
after you & your friends.