Today's poem is by Cleopatra Mathis


The crows came back last night
in this, the black center of October,
the broken line the lush world draws

to the hungry days of December.
Already they'll eat anything, craned neck
and squawk at the rag of flesh,

their beaks in every winter morning,
shrieking, ripping the profits from the jay's
torn craw. They serve themselves.

I'm not the first to hate their flapping
claim to the season, lured to the window
by their raw, gut-filled, strutting

common pride. Oh they bring out in me
the loftiest of ideals, and see how I stumble,
falling back to the dog I gave away,

sour animal, who in the last moments
shook me with the wild sorrow
open in her comprehending face, pleading

clear as any speech: don't leave me
with these strangers.
And I did,
I took that last look, and turned away.

Copyright © 2003 Cleopatra Mathis All rights reserved
from Rivendell
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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