A crow cock-walks across fresh fallen snow.
He’s like the pain that struts through you,
evil-eyed and confident, jabbing
anywhere it will, biting into
flesh beneath the milky you I know.
Crows never listen. I shoo him off,
and before my back is fully turned,
he’s back, jabbing, biting. I resent
his lumbering health, the ubiquity
of his kind, just when the weather
has improved. And if I take a stand
someplace he’s claimed, he simply hangs around
above and heckles and outwaits me.
He’s dressed like bad guys in ’50’s westerns.
I think about a gun. Poison too.
I’d really like to wring his neck, slowly,
then walk with you across fresh fallen snow,
the way we walked before the crow came.
GREG McBRIDE has been an attorney, an army photographer in the Vietnam War, and a wrestler. His poems and essays appear in 32 Poems, Connecticut Review, Folio, The Gettysburg Review, Poet Lore, and other journals. His poems also appear in A Common Bond: Poetry and Prose by American and Vietnamese Veterans of the Vietnam War, Cabin Fever: Poets at Joaquin Miller’s Cabin, 1984-2001; and Off the Record: An Anthology of Poetry by Lawyers.