The Constance Pulz Prize
Winter 2015
Terri McCord

Crow Augury

Crows are no bird-brains. Behavioral biologists have even called them "feathered primates.”

            Nature Communications,  Lena Veit, Andreas Nieder, 2013

Batiked sky of crows that fly
with small regard
to my presence
as the eight whirl
              like a sash,
swirl to the foreground
in more than 3-D—become thought
they seem
inside my head—recede
to the treed horizon
and ascend to power
lines where they are
slight ash against a bisque sun.

There is no scare here, only
a scarcity of words
as I try to decipher
     caaaacaaaaa and aaawkawk.

People do not recognize
these angular black birds
apart from crow-ness,
though they are known to know
uniqueness between us ten years hence,
would speak our names
to each other in Raven or Crow.

This feathered murder
is harmless as I am. A creation myth
bestows on them the theft of the sun,
stars, and even fire.
I try to answer, call hereherehere.
©2015 Terri McCord