Gentle hands red and rough knuckles bent and swollen He calls each sheep by name, whispering courage to skittish ones gentling those who bite and fight seeking sheep who wander driving away predators healing the wounded feeding the hungry Through cold, rain blazing sun through storms and drought He pursues the lost calling each by name not giving up tracking them down to bring each one safely home.
Unraveling Disintegrating slow but sure Coming apart at the seams We neglect leave it out in the rain and watch it dissolve a little more with every harsh word sense of self erodes Wave over the beach washing away our sandcastle Bit by bit the silence tears our spirits Catching a strand here loosening a piece there Winds of disagreement and strife crumble our edges Widen the cracks hastening the disintegration Hope is starting to r a v e l on the edges Do you cut it off or w i nd it in? Is it easier to pick apart strands already torn? Or are we able to see beyond frayed hems enough to weave us back together? Do we build or do we tear d o w n? Can I rebraid my life with yours to make it stronger? Or do you prefer to stay apart? L o o s e ning more with every storm that comes our way?
You are not a number no matter the gravity with which a test was administered - or taken - no matter the times it was talked about - or studied for
You are much more than a score on some three lettered exam covering math and reading and writing of course but not even touching on subjects that matter like how a raven is like a writing desk why men go to war what the uvula is for which, by the way, is far removed from the vulva in location AND use or why, if God is good, there is pain and suffering in the world.
Don't settle for being a number or grade for you have abilities and possibilities yet to discover.
The fog came first long before the crows but history -- or, if this were a different sort of poem, one of those pretentious poety poems, the mists of time -- will remember the black birds as harbingers of the inescapable white mist that smothered everything, deadening the world, white-washing the landscape until roads, houses, trees, beach, and water were bleached into a silvery white that vanished any horizon.
For their part the crows were simply grounded the distinction between air and ground no longer finite. To be clear there was no murder of crows just two, male and female, and they were shall we say whiling away their downtime by engaging in some sort of mating dance a precursor of Corvus copulating, no doubt that involved much hopping, preening and occasional pecking not necessarily in that order.
Truth be told as it is even here upon occasion the rumors of harbingers started when the raucous birds finished their mating machinations. A silver dollar sun strove through the haze defining shore and sea earth and air the mist sending smoke signals into a startled blue sky
There is too much North in the wind men turn up their collars women put their heads down rushing to their destinations without lingering to look around the leaves scuttle down the road as if suddenly aware it's now Spring and they missed the autumn gathering Daffodils close their buds tight refusing to wake before the heat is turned up
There's too much North in the air park benches sit empty playground equipment languishes forlorn swings swaying empty in the breeze birds hunker down into feathered poofs while the bird bath becomes a skating rink even the grass genuflects hoping to avoid the wind's ire
There's too much North in the wind he says but I only grin shrugging into my coat and hat before going out to revel
Two Pileated Woodpeckers interrupted my coffee making this morning. One dwarfs the feeder a small-scale pterodactyl, red-crested head bobbing energetically as sharp ivory bill carves out chunks of suet flesh. Its prehistoric mate crabwalks sideways on the ground below, head cocked one way, then another searching for prey before extracting some tasty morsel with surgical precision.
The turkeys show up next all twenty-nine of them. I sit by the slider and sip coffee while the jakes put on a show like body builders at the beach jostling each other in masculine power plays. Puffed up and strutting they drag their wings and fan tail feathers angling them just so to impress the ladies But I'm the only female watching The hens pay no mind more interested in filling their stomachs then checking out the biggest and best turkey.
Finally, with a sigh, I go about my day, morning having already gone to the birds.