CROWS BY Sandy Shreve

I’ve had a newspaper clipping stuck to my fridge for several years. The yellowing scrap of paper features a poem by Sandy Shreve, entitled “Crows.” I love the poem’s clever wording and the rhythm of its imaging – a fitting tribute for one of our most prolific and intelligent flying creatures.

Sandy Shreve was on CBC radio this morning, talking about a project she helped initiate 20 years ago called “Poetry in Transit.” I wonder if “Crows” was ever posted on a Vancouver bus?

CROWS by Sandy Shreve:
Romans regarded the crow as a symbol of a the future because it cries Cras, cras(Tomorrow, tomorrow) – Barbara G. Walker

Out of all four corners of the world,
these ancients with tomorrow on their tongues
gather one by one,

cackle from whatever throne
they find to occupy –
at the edges of our eyes. the crows’

feet etch our every smile,
as if the only thing that matters
is our laughter.

Creatures of both earth and sky, they do not
care if we believe them evil,
dread them as death’s messengers

or simply scorn them for the mess they make
scavenging through garbage in the park.
Always dressed for funerals,

crows know they are the pallbearers for our souls,
their gift, to find the glitter in what we leave behind.

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