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