The Archibald Rutledge Prize
Winter 2009
Tim Harkins

Crows Finally Find Me in Spartanburg

Across three weeks and two
hundred miles, I called to the crows.
In Charleston we chatted daily:
weather, trinkets, food,
and the flight of our lives.
I missed the bright black flash
down paths untaken, the raucous caw
after nights of love, their constant
quirky advice. Would they dare
just leave me without a totem?
This morning when I prayed,
“Thank you,” a crow cawed.
It started a field of geese to honk
like a Greek chorus. I hardly needed
the commentary to note the timing.
Just to make it clear, the flutter
of pigeons taking flight caught my ear.
When I looked, a single silent crow
flashed across the square of sky
framed by the sides of the porch.
They found me in prayer.
They welcomed me home.
©2009 Tim Harkins