Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Life with Crows

It was a cold February day

when the war of words began.

War of words?

Boxing with ghosts actually.

Looking back, we realized

all the crows were gone.

We had never noticed.

So many things we never noticed –

all the shadows in the room,

Phantoms, influence peddlers,

spreaders of misconception,

missed perceptions.

Upon reflection, we realize

We had never noticed.

The crows were gone,

migrated to a sacred tree

carried across the divide

by a microscopic virus with

an exotic name – West Nile.

No Cleopatra here

Black-winged corpses strewn in yards.

When we noticed, it was too late.

It was too late for all

The war had already begun.

Life as we knew it was shattered.

Words exploded around us.

Phantom remnants of logic

taunted us until we were heaving.

Sharp accusations stabbed our vitals.

Like crows, they tried to cast us out.

Push us to the periphery.

Epithets of ugliness attached themselves

with hook├Ęd claws.

Somehow, we limped through battle.

Bloodied, bruised, our spirits not yet broken

we made our way home.

We hoped no one would notice.

On a sunny day in April

years after the war began,

We stood sorting through the rubble

and noticed

the crows had returned home (to us).

Susan Scheid (May 2008)

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