Vox Populi

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Gary Fincke: A Murder of Crows

Driving home, I see all of them
By the highway, pecking at
Whatever is splayed out and torn,
And none of them flutter up
Or hop deeper on the shoulder.
The houses start to thicken,
The one set back from the road owned
By a woman who has been
Moved upstate for care. At the light,
I turn slowly and hear nothing
Promising in the noise the brakes
Make, how they remind me they
Will eventually fail, but
The man who lives next door says
He has a book for me downstairs,
And I have to watch him limp
Toward the dark, thinking how little
I read. I could stammer that
Words are ineffective as skin,
But I follow him and see
His cellar ceiling-high with books.
“Seventy-thousand,” he says,
Nodding at the fire-hazard piles
Of them. We smile together
Though the room is impassable,
And I know I will never
Open the volume he hands me,
Vanity Fair, his seventh
Garage-sale copy, and I could
Repeat, “A labor of mules,
A drift of hogs,” tell him about
The collective nouns for things,
How names can amuse us and do
Nothing to change this evening,
Whether the weight of this novel
Impresses me or he will
Follow it with others, stacking
Them in my arms and never
Imagining I could drop them.

Copyright 2022 Gary Fincke

Gary Fincke has won numerous awards for his writing, including the Bess Hokin 
Prize from Poetry Magazine. He lives in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. 

Source: World Birds

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This entry was posted on December 8, 2022 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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