CALLING DOWN THE CROWS

Come, princes of the night.
Spiral from the sky,
charred scraps of paper,
anti-angels.
I am not calling starlings
which are nothing like stars,
but crows, which are nothing like moons,
no light reflects, but light's sucked in;
these are black holes of birds,
the cloth of the night is made from them.
I bring them down with crusts of bread,
scraps of fat, husks, rinds, crumbs.
As soon as I toss the first orts
of the feeding season, I know they're out there.
I hear their raucous caws in the distance,
feel them circle before I see them,
chips of soot, black snowflakes.
Lords of the lawn, they swagger & strut.
And I, who have called them,
feel my heart turn to coal.
~Barbara Crooker

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