Tag Archives: territory

Early Morning, January, Outside

Early Morning, January, Outside


I have seen crows measure themselves against a hawk
to secure territory.  A single crow settles into a branch

a few limbs away from a red tailed hawk, hopping awkwardly
closer then gawping its recognition and the echoes

of recognition bring more crows as if the crows
themselves were the echoes coming back. We know

how this ends, with the hawk taking flight and shrugging
them off, literally–with a few flicks of its shoulder

it is gone. But stronger or not, in the end it leaves.
This morning the crows behind my house

were raising a racket but nothing was rising
over the treeline. They hopped agitated from

tree to tree but kept to the lower branches.
Overhead like staples in the gray sky a hundred vultures

circled and swerved, like figure skaters
freed of all pretension of looking human

but they did look human, these angels
of death, or maybe turning to go back inside

I caught their reflection in the kitchen window
as if they were already inside the house,

waiting for me there, a semblance of the thing
that has crows giving ground without lifting

a wing. That after all there’s no owned territory,
that there’s something recognition alone won’t harry.