MONDAY: Crow Visits

BY CATHERINE SWORD

Copyright is held by the author.

COLD AIR. Fly slow. Black wing shoves the still air, pushes body up. Up. See long. Roof. Roof. Tree. Stretch of grey solid ground. Tree with bare leaves. Bank towards tree.

Car. Car. Car. Row of fence. Soft spruce tree. Tip wing, break through the chill, swoop down. Down. Down, flip feet out, grab soft blue spruce bough. Bob on branch. Look. Look. Fence, small roof. Shimmering glass. No flicker on shimmering glass. See, peanut lady?

Door. Door closed.

Caw. You there? Caw? Tummy rumbles.

Slip and grab bough, grab branch lower.

Caw.

Door open. Cat? No. Peanut lady.

Weak bald wing with claw throw little peanut out into snow.

White snow. Tiny drops, little holes. See shadows, little holes. One hole. One peanut. Remember.

Hole under tree. Hole by pond. Hole, hole, hole by fence.

Go, peanut lady. Go.

Door close.

Swoop. Skid. Brush light snow up against black feather. Cold crystals slip between feathers. Shake and waddle. Grace left in the sky.

Waddle left, right. Beak dives into round shadows. Peanut. Peanut.

6 comments

  1. Charles Pinch

    Catherine,
    This is the best story I’ve read here since Audrey Austin’s ‘Seven Stones’. The way in which you used clipped, staccatto sentences and percussive syntax is remarkable and wholly to be admired. The ‘voice of the crow’ comes through loud and clear. This is a difficult technical task to set oneself and I admire you indeed, not only for attempting it, but for succeeding. The images the words generate: flitting, stopping and starting, wariness, purchase and startled flight translate perfectly into the behaviour of these raucous birds. Smart, sophisticated writing, above and beyond the usual, which I’d love to see more of here.

  2. Linda Cripton

    How intensely we watch the animals we love, willing ourselves into their consciousness. “Crow Visits” is convincingly there, a bird’s-eye view with a practically imperceptible human filter. And there, in this particular rhythm, we find poetry.

  3. Catherine

    Thank you so much everyone. The funny thing is that I thought this piece might be too silly for everyone and turns out it’s a hit.

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