Watching Crows in Winter (poems from old notebooks, January 2011)


I watch the crows, and I wait, as they
examine me from their pews of overhead
wires and January’s bare branches,
each restless, attentive head turning
one dark eye and then the other on me.

Beak after beak opens and closes,
softly percussive
like a slow, inquisitive
click and echo of heels
on the marble floor of a church.


In January I watch the crows
on bare branches, and I wait.

I wait for a long gone by July to return,
for a day when dark wings cupped

and descended to branches
overwhelmed with green,

a day when thunder clouds veiled
the blue sky and the warm rain ran

in streams off a low roof
we stood under to examine

the wet black limbs of lindens
just beyond us. And you bent forward,

placed your head under
the falling water,

hair soaked and gleaming,
eyes closed, lips parted,

my hand between your shoulder blades
trembling at the heat rising.


I watch the crows
as they watch me
and I realize how

before I could love you
I had to love my own senses
and how they brought me

the cardinal’s wing like blood in the air
the smooth white petal of the magnolia
the restless black eye of the crow

the green of leaves
in July rain, or snow
on a thin, black branch

the frozen well of the moon
before the dark wave of hair
and white crest of collarbone

the red swell of lips
and slow suffusion of pink above
your breasts after a kiss

and how your presence
dilated me as lilacs do
in the still midnight air of June


I watch the crows against
the January sky

the way the edges of wings
dig into it like blades into ice

and wait to see
if they carve you out of the blue—

a faint yellow tint of old ivory
tracing your collarbone with shadow

to suggest a frieze murmurs
a story in scrimshaw there

while the muscles of your back
the surge of your hips

and the upward curve of thighs
allude to the idea of pink

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
This entry was posted in Art is lies, Crows, John MacKenzie, Memory, Poem tweets, Poems from old notebooks, Poetry, Time, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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