[34] Two Poems, David B. Prather

Crows Or Ravens

No one here seems to know the difference, or even care.
All that can be said is that crows are clever,
always clever.
They teach their fledglings how to recognize
what can harm and what can kill.

All we know of ravens is just as much—
how close one feather lies next to another.
How difficult it is to see
the difference between unkindness and murder,
impossible to know the subtleties
between storytelling and conspiracy.

I might correct my friends by suggesting
treachery is larger, reminding them
scarecrows are people without souls.

And birds revel with souls, guide us to a flimsy hereafter,
keep us safe on the road from here to where,
from this to there.

No one here seems to know rook or jackdaw,
midnight or sable.
But sometimes all we have left is forgiveness, a chance
to understand so little of this world is observed,
even as we look to the heavens,
the silhouettes of flight indistinguishable, everyone
taking their turn in the sky.


Early Spring Disciples

Sun finds its way around
edges of cloud drift,
the kind of clouds that show
their heaven and their heartache.

When day hits the pool,
water furrows. Children dangle
their feet at the edge,
dream of walking

across the surface.
I know this dream.
But the temperature is not quite
right, hovers near the cool side

of warm. The season is still
pulling on its robes.
Even afternoon light
sinks to the bottom,

swims and shimmers,
glimmers, shines.


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