Wakened by Crows

Monday, January 14, 2019
In the woods, the sky
            of our sleep breaking,
piece by piece. Nothing visible
            in the leaves but the blackness
moving gradually off as light
            starts to ping back its notice.
My father would caw
            and the crows would answer,
and he’d stand there like a boy,
caw-caw, caw-caw.
            This is left, this is left,
of the old life, is what he heard.
            You could see it
in his eyes. He shot a crow
            once, for no reason, he said,
and he cried at its dense black,
            its perfectly curved beak.
I was a child, listening,
            waiting to be seen,
but it was only the calling,
            and the voice was air,
and the air was nothing
            human, and I was standing
under the pines and hemlocks.
            How hard it was,
this is what I want to say, to wake
            from that disappearing,
to answer the old life
            with this one.
Monday, January 14, 2019