The Crow and I Have a Conversation by Pattie Palmer-Baker

The Crow and I Have a Conversation

The Crow and I Have a Conversation

by Pattie Palmer-Baker


I toss stale hamburger buns topped with sesame seeds on the grass, sometimes leave the garbage lid ajar. For you. I even write poems about you; how you outwit falcons, spit in the face of motorized danger, strut like a majordomo dressed in black satin. I am crazy about your conventions on telephone wires even though you argue for hours. I wish I knew about what. I understand your love of bling. I collect sparkly things too. If I could cradle you in my hand, I would stroke those silk feathers and kiss your clever beak. Maybe in the center of my palm, your feet would scratch out a love message to me.


Every morning I shine my black-feathered tuxedo, hone my beak and sharpen my eyes to the snapping point. If you tried to hold me, I would bite your fingers, claw warnings in your palm. I make tools to access the narrowest difficulty. I hide sparklies where you will never find them. I am dangerous. I sometimes fly solo, but when falcons veer into our airspace my gang has my back. Crows do not argue on telephone wires; they catch up on the day’s events like how my daughter just missed the jaws of a motor-monster or my sister is teaching her babies to fly. Sometimes we discuss you or other two trunked barkless trees, how ugly you are with only two leafless limbs. No wonder you cover them with pieces of colored cloth. Of course you write poems about us. Who wouldn’t? We are wild; we are beautiful. We fly, we soar, we float, we strut our ebony-breasted stuff. In the evening, we gather in murders, lock wings, and sing a paean for our dead. We breathe out dark smoke as we sleep. We are the reason night is black.


Pattie Palmer-Baker is a Portland OR artist and poet. Over the years of exhibiting her paste paper collages with her poetry in calligraphic form – she discovered that most people, despite what they may believe, do like poetry; in fact, many liked the poems better than the visual art. She now focuses on writing. Words are her first love.

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