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strike earth, flip yellow leaves
as they jet their shiny necks
straight up to the sky
to swallow their grub.

More than fifty of them –
dancer’s shadows across a stage
throwing gold fans.

Bus driver yells, “You okay?”
I stand here, staring, mouth half open.

I follow the crows at a distance
down Kelly Avenue. It’s as if haShem
watched a Hitchock marathon on PBS
before directing my afternoon.

Crows fly on to my roof, scream
at me from my window – dark
church bells, a murder of them,
tolling out my hour.

But if I am going to be one of those people
who looks for signs, I don’t think it is death
they are on about —

but creating without apology.
To do what you need to do
to get the thing done.

Dive down, eat as if mad, ravenous,
smash the place up, make noise,
strike your beaks like matchsticks,
yellow flames rising in air.

Rae Rose’s latest work can be found in Lilith Magazine. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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