The Crows



Middle-aged women are flocking to see the crows.
They stand on sidewalks, on lawns, and they stare
at the tops of telephone poles, the highest branches
of trees; they sit on picnic tables in the park, perch
at the fountain’s edge to watch the crows walk
slowly through strips of sunlight between trees,
their black eyes sharp as scissors, knives, razors,
black feathers brightly purpled by the light, satin
green and blue, shocking streaks of sudden red
shining off the blackest backs of crows who never
look at the women, crows who walk, stop, open
wide capes of wing and flex their black stick legs
to enter the air; they rise to fly, calling each other
by name, calling each other’s names out of the sky.


Judith Arcana’s most recent book is the poetry collection What if your mother (2005);
among her prose books is Grace Paley’s Life Stories: A Literary Biography. Her poems,
stories and essays have been published in journals and anthologies for more than
thirty years. In 2007, her work appeared in 5AM, Persimmon Tree, White Ink, Bridges,
Umbrella, ARM Journal
and Passager. Read more at juditharcana.com