A New Poem

I sat down to write the other day, and a poem came out. I don’t write a lot of poetry, but this memory just kind of felt like it belonged as one. Any similar experiences?

Sharp Relief

by Lin Rice

A crow startled me this morning

as it strafed above me,

pinions hissing like arrow fletching

as it harried a chicken-hawk out of our garden.

Dark plumes buffeted the hawk’s back

as its broad wings strained for loft,

black talons tucked under a tail splayed in alarm.

Then, as one, a chorus joined the crow,

most of her kin who roost in the scrub pines

beyond our blackberry patch and tomato vines.

Their croaks and caws shaking raindrops from the garden fog,

Streaking in from all directions,

grace and the whip-crack sounds of flight

Joining their sister as one singular foe

The crows drove off the hawk, its eyes wide

and straining for a patch of unclaimed sky.

I have admired this murder for several years

although that word isn’t quite enough

Clan fits best, I think.

Day and night, they go about the tasks of a family

Gathering, gossiping, tending their babies

Those dark feathers reduce them to shadows

when they remain on the ground

But parting the fog of a morning sky,

the grace of their lines cannot be denied.

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