Conversation with Crow

Me:           My sister died this morning.

Crow:        I’m sorry. Was she shot? Poisoned?

Me:            No.  I don’t know what to do.

Crow:        We often form a circle around the body,
                   then fly off and return with twigs and
                   leaves for cover, maybe something shiny.

Me:           I can’t do that—her  body is gone.

Crow:        Oh.        Then tonight I will dream of her
                   from my roost. Tomorrow watch for me
                   on that pine branch  and listen to my
                   song of loss and sorrow for you.

Me:           Thank you.

Crow:        From now on look for her radiance on every
                   blade of grass, in every drop of water.
                   Will you do that?

Me:            Yes, I will try to.

Crow:        Now, close your eyes,
                   breathe —  again          fold both wings
                   over your heart.

Me:           Like this?

Musepaper Poem Prize #32

Sandy Longley is a recently retired English Professor. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Navigating the Waters, in 2016. Other publications include New Millennium Writings, Nimrod International Journal, Southword Journal, Spillway, Passager, Mudfish. She divides her time between Delmar, NY and Provincetown MA.

7 thoughts on “Conversation with Crow”

  1. I love this poem, especially how you maintain the crow’s perspective and let the “me” start to take the crow’s. In so many crow poems, Crow is not very sympathetic. (I am thinking of Howard Norman’s Cree translations more than contemporary poems like Grace Bauer’s “Crow Goes Walking”.) Your poem also pulls me into the experience of “Me” and her heartbreak.

  2. Fine work! Dangers lurking in a poem like this include moroseness, sappiness and too much optimism/good tidings. Ms. Longley skirts all the boulders–skillfully, memorably.

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