Her first child belongs to the crows
and his days go circling the yellow-black fields
summers and into the falls. He scans
the horizon, mouth in a sticky O,
like a spirit caged to infinite space.
Winged One, she calls, Winged One, come here. Receding,
he pulls off his straw hat and waves, showing his tuft
of obsidian hair. He’s not coming back just yet.
She remembers how crows are small black rivers
like stairways leading to rooms
that can’t be rooms, only the hallways of space.
And then, how she watched him last night
in the ruined farmhouse across the road
where only a chimney and staircase are left
jutting up to the vacant precincts of moonlight.
He was stepping so lightly then,
who at sixteen forgets his own name, and shits himself
like the mindless, fear-mad prey of barn owls.
He belonged to the crows and stood
for hours on the stairway’s precipice, weaving
a dance like crows in flight, until his brother,
with rope and fists, carried him struggling down.