I believe that if you rub the forehead

of a captured crow clockwise

in small circles, it will gift you

with the knack of comprehension

teach you to understand the cawing

conversations of its cousins, those

who’ve roosted darkly in the maples,

and now are waking up the day.

I heard the congregation, all

the crows’ brash chattering above

the morning mist rising from the river

still lavender with hope.

I am dubious, although I’d like to trust

that this bright river rattling through the gorge

will come soon to a shallow peace, flash

its stony gifts, glinting catch-eyes for the crows.

Beth Spencer

Beth Spencer currently lives near Minneapolis, MN, loves travel, and is a notable example of the persistence of hope over experience. She has been messing about with poetry since fifth grade when she won a “Why I Like to Read Good Books” contest by submitting her essay in poem form.

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