The crows, inky black feathered dive and fly,
they are waiting for the dog to die.
The dog that used to hide
in crevices and corners,
curled like a ball of yarn,
afraid of feathers,
talons and shrieks.
The crows squawk and flap.
The dog sits, bones groaning
like the squeaking hinges on a rusty door,
Fur hanging off her body: carpet on a frame.
Gumless teeth refuse to eat,
head bows, a worn-out body thinks of sleep.
Magician crows never forget Bushtit,
Anna’s hummingbird, Yellow Warbler,
Mountain Chickadee, Cliff Swallow, Wrentit,
Western Bluebird, Mourning Dove, Sparrow,
California Quail, Mockingbird, Canary, Crow.
Conjuror crows never forget the dog
ears cocked forward, body still
slinking slowly, paws padding softly
crouching low, springing step, head shaking
back and forth, teeth breaking skin.
Bluish black feathers slick as oil.
Wings spread out, claws curled.
Trickster Crows never forget
Blood sunset skies, fractured wings,
eyes the color of a candle flame.
Death a god even crows can’t trick.
Inspired by Margaret Atwood and Kelly Link, Candace Hartsuyker seeks to uncover hidden truths. She is a first-year fiction student in McNeese State University’s MFA Program.