Would they really call it a murder, this gathering of crows
late afternoon in the trees just beyond the Hannaford
parking lot, late autumn now, whole leafless trees full,
regular bare-ruined choirs, squawking, talking, welcoming
the newcomers, late arrivals, from this direction and that,
gathering back from their day of scrounging and scavenging
roadsides aplenty, some discarded fries and flattened squirrels,
their day of watching and patrolling set areas in pairs, teasing
and terrorizing smaller birds, their voices, their stiff strutting,
and dark presence fill their day till this late, then they gather
back again, this murder of crows, the safety of crowding,
the safety of a scene, a noisy dark murder scene, like this.
by J.K. Durick
Editor’s Note: Imagery creates an active picture of crows in all their noisy glory. The closing line packs more of a punch than expected.