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Shortlist Saturdays: Dead Crow Walking by Emily De Angelis

Dead Crow Walking

Why do crows walk off asphalt when they can fly

away from carrion

and car

to road’s edge?

Is it just corvid attitude,

roadkill carnivore conduct,

that fuck-you-I’m-eating-here-can’t-you-see

frame of mind,

keeping flight neatly packed in their wings

as a last resort?

Why do crows scream in the early morning when they can be sleeping

cawing caw, caw, coffee-less

in the dim

morning light?

Is it corvid humour,

stand-up crow comedy,

that nothing-is-sacred

view of funny,

leaving common courtesy asleep in their nests

hours before sunrise?

Why do crows fly circles around their dead when they can lament on tree limbs

a show of force and family

for fallen

Corvus comrades?

Is it airborne avian funerary rights,

of swept up carcasses

in blackened wings,

of grief sharpened beaks

roosting in bold banded bereavement

keeping vigil for predators?

Why do crows walk off asphalt?

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