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Hope in a Stolen Cap

 

Bleeding gently

I ask that you consider my circumstances

and my choices

 

I’ve been struggling

with the decay all about

with the final pouring off of the color

to crisp underfoot

 

look how sadly the forest stands

in fear of the empty remains

 

there’s an endless effort in being

with the turn of each samed day

 

six feet apart

or six feet below

 

 

But hope in a stolen cap

has brought me here to this rooftop

 

As a man

I had seen them pass above each evening

on their way back to the night-pine hemlocks

dangling their spoils from a day of looting in the town

 

they had been familiar company to me

and I could recognize a few when they spoke

 

they were magnificent

and I was thrilled

when one chose me

and grabbed the cap from my head

 

dragging a single black claw cross my scalp

gashing red

 

with a scream

you may suspect panic

but calm has never cut so quickly

 

atop the rooftop gabled

they awaited my response

calling to me

words alight with encouragement

 

and I felt in myself some shift in shape

I welcomed the warmth of the

hair grown full to feathers

as my arms became the wings they had always envied

 

As a crow

I could see that the sadness sat

with those earthbound beasts

heavy in wanting and weight

 

as my fear gave way to simpler truths

gone with the fear

goes love as well

 

 

I hear her breathing now

troubled about the house on my whereabouts

I see her uneasy now

quickened footsteps in the dooryard below

 

did she hear my scream

my earthly partner

unfit for this mischief

 

will she know it is me

who takes away her sorrow

 

when I gently land on her shoulder

whisper her name

and peck her sweet pale cheek