Crows murderous in song and story:
Along with the wild dogs and wolves,
crows were the only real winners
in The Iliad, feeding on the fallen.
In an English folksong, two crows
speculate on their next feast: a knight
murdered by his lady and her lover.

When we lived in Baltimore,
dawns exploded with raucous crows;
evenings heavy as metal guitar solos
when they returned to our huge
and fittingly dead backyard tree:
the border between our property
and the nursing home, residents
sometimes escaping, the birds eyeing
old men and women staggering along
before they were recaptured.

When we moved to Denver,
I found a dead crow in our driveway:
maybe worried by a dog or cat,
maybe just old and weary: the victim,
this time, not the murderer.

I nudged it into a trash bag
and tossed that into the alley dumpster,
then washed and washed and washed,
and still didn’t feel clean.

Robert Cooperman’s latest collection is Reefer Madness (Aldrich Press). Forthcoming from Apprentice House is Go Play Outside