I’ve never really liked the weeks of winter post-Groundhog’s Day, with their slow cycles of thaw and freeze, and a winter’s-worth of detritus emerging, spoiled and soggy, from the graying snow, only to be frozen again in place. Blech.
But Tuesday before Lent some years ago, I spied a crow pecking at the scant remains of some unfortunate road-kill, and it tweaked my thinking a bit …
Why should the robin be the harbinger of Spring?
Why watch for flowers?
The tulip and the thrush borrow beauty from the sun;
tug their strength up from the dark earth.
Stronger still, and darker, is the crow.
Songbirds ride the North Wind south;
flowers hang their heads and retreat beneath the snow.
The crow remains.
Feathers ruffed, dark eye glaring sidelong, he stoops;
picks bits of hide and hair from the cold pavement.
A lean meal this Christmas, but Easter comes,
and Nature’s bounty blooming black from the snow.
A stiffened ear; the rack and ripe entrails —
the crow consumes all, makes ready the house for the Master’s arrival.
He waits, black as the cloth, preaching his monosyllable, fasting.
27 Feb 01
I meant to post this yesterday, of course, but lost track of what week it was. Sad, really, when you think about it. No paczkis this year, either!