On the pulse of ancestors

January 21, 2017

Today, I looked at the sky

I heard the call of the crows

black winged and flying on a warm January afternoon

 

They give me pause when I leave work

I become keenly aware of my pulse 

 

When my heart stops I believe I will feel it

and there will be a bird pecking at its last beat

 

I have never known peace 

at the sight of beaks and the sound of crows

flocks flocking together

organizing like they are also in protest

like they will march across a DC sky tonight 

to prepare for tomorrow

 

For years, I have been afraid of 

birds 

I have my reasons for this trauma

the flinch in my eye if they are too close

the well of tears

the clench of my fists

the flight

the swift movement of my feet in safety's direction 

but today the crows caw my name 

 

made me turn my face to look up

welcome their terror as an ally

an omen of change

 

I should have cried

trembled like a child at winter air's mercy 

but today I breathed 

today, the crows came by the hundreds 

like ancestors come to fill me with their pulsing histories

like a meeting of souls come to teach

wake full ness 

necessary to survive

 

their wings weep across my heart 

like a widow in mourning

numbed by an open casket

but I know this ride home 

ain't no regular home going

 

I will grieve for what is lost

visit its tomb and stone death with my best shot

sing a new song of freedom

to the caw of crows

gathering to send messages from the other side

I will be walking with ghosts with fists in the air

 

I should have been afraid

but today

I felt nothing less than my pulse

I am alive 

and history needs me 

 

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Email: poet.d.colin@gmail.com

Troy, NY