I’d like to offer one of my favorite poems, by Grace Butcher, which appears in the Best American Poetry 2000, edited by Rita Dove. It tells a story, a fable of sorts, about a crow who, like me at this moment, like all the rest of us all the time, is at the end of something, and at the beginning of something.
Crow is Walking
Crow is walking
to see things at ground level,
the landscape as new under his feet
as the air is old under his wings.
He leaves the dead rabbit waiting—
it’s a given; it’ll always be there—
and walks on down the dirt road,
admires the pebbles, how they sparkle in the sun;
checks out his reflection
in a puddle full of sky
which reminds him
of where he’s supposed to be,
but he’s beginning to like
the way the muscles move in his legs
and the way his wings feel so comfortable
folded back and resting.
He thinks he might be beautiful,
the sun lighting his back
with purple and green.
Faint voices from somewhere far ahead
roll like dust down the road towards him.
He hurries a little.
His tongue moves in his mouth;
legends of language move in his mind.
His beak opens.
He tries a word.