Assembles on my lawn,
its presence dark,
feathers black and iridescent,
the epitome of martial bearing,
a menacing mélange
of omen and militancy,
strutting and cocky,
haughty and strident.

It is rumored they hold court
on their own, bad behavior
punished by death,
capital punishment
carried out
by the attendant tribunal,
a flurry of deadly beaks
extracting justice
with brutal finality.

When they sense my presence,
court is suddenly adjourned,
ebony wings flapping,
crows rising peremptorily
toward the trees,
squawking in defiance,
court recessed
until the accused can
once again be tried.