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Poem Illuminated by a Crow by Hilary Biehl

Poem Illuminated by a Crow

The boy comes in, his limp hair starred with snow,
in tears because a neighbor wouldn’t play
his game. The window’s dark. A single crow
struts on a plane of white. What should you say,

should you console him, tell him it’s no loss?
Or that a life grows bright with losses, ripe
to splitting with them? Tell him it’s a toss-
up whether this one matters. Time will wipe

away its sting, or else he’ll sit up sweating
in the middle of the night for years,
remembering the neighbor’s face, forgetting
that there was a crow. You dry his tears.

by Hilary Biehl

Editor’s Note: This clever poem illuminates the difficulty of perspective—the boy lacks the adult’s knowledge, but the adult knows that knowing isn’t necessarily a comfort.


3 responses to “Poem Illuminated by a Crow by Hilary Biehl”

  1. cmclain13 Avatar

    Well done, Hilary. I enjoyed this poem a lot.


    What a specific and lovely description of the impact of children and how memory either torments or heal. You used just enough detail and words. Great work, I loved it!

  3. Laura Foley Avatar

    I’m sharing this poem with my poetry group. I love how you enter that realm of parent/child wonderings. And how your rhyme scheme keeps it all together.

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