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Three Crows
by Jane Alynn

‐After a painting thought to be by Morris Graves and lines by John Logan

Nothing like his poor, thick, white
three-sided bird
that aroused such pity,
with three-toed feet on each odd limb
and a big red beak, no mouth, no wing
to get home.

No. You are a gang of three
grave, silent, aloof
crows. Smoldering brush strokes
cloak your murky forms
among dark storm-clouds and shadows,
black edges tinged with orange
like buds against the dusk.

Yet, when it is neither night nor day,
when shapes shift, three birds
could, like the mind on wing, ascend
and that single stroke of white paint
on the head of the third
could be moonlight,
even as you are still
filled with ancient grief,
fixed there as gods, or thieves.

(From Necessity of Flight (Cherry Grove, 2011)  

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