The Crow Flies Straight At Me

photograph of black crow

The Crow Flies Straight At Me

The crow flies straight at me, up from the right,

heading for the window where I stand watching

this petty world spin out and down before me.

As the bird sails past, it eclipses the sun

that gilds the underwings of its slick black feathers,

so oiled and polished, ornamented,

like coal, or burnished jet,

to perch on the gutter above my head.

I see it as it passes, I see its entirety

in snapshot detail, an instant life memory.

So big, much bigger than a bird should be,

too big to fly, surely, with the grace

and power and ease it owns.

The downcurved beak, piratical, hard

and weaponised, and the leathered skin

bound around the bones of legs

and talons that float through the air,

just there, right there in front of me.

It is a hard bird, a knowing bird,

strong and cunning, that brooks

no competition from rooks or magpies

or larkabout jackdaws.

It owns this territory, no matter what

man may make of it.

I saw the eyes.

I think the eyes saw me, a man.

I was assessed and judged

and discounted, all at once.

2 thoughts on “The Crow Flies Straight At Me

  1. spanishwoods says:

    I love this. Words and image, love. Interestingly, I’m going to post an excerpt from a book called Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald (some day this week) that expresses exactly your thoughts in this poem. Thank you for sharing this post.


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