Sunday, July 24, 2016

Crow Heart

I told you from the start,
from the morning you came through my open door
tripping on a hinge flopped dead on the flagstones,
that crows had nested in my heart.

My fairy tale cottage had survived the bombardment;
just a little gingerbread dust on the plates and tables.
You arrested me with such restraint
and took me before the local commander almost tenderly.

Judge and executioner grow out of each other's backs here,
squabbling, one keen to rot on the bench, the other furiously knitting hoods
out of rationed sail cloth and sheer frustration.
I smiled at them, took your hand, got you reprimanded.

My crows live for trickery because they are crows.
I am an honest woman, but they have nested in my heart,
so all night long I hear them gearing up their little printing press
and in the morning I am a prohibited edition and you have to act.

My crows dash themselves against the cathedral bells 
even as my show trial continues. Ring! Ring!
They have no respect for anything, and I have caught their fever.
I sway as if on ropes and pulleys, and my advocate warns me to stop singing.

We might have loved, you and I, in my gingerbread bed,
if we had met when people still cared about things.
As it is, I sink the shiv in even as I kiss you, but the birds whisper
inside my chest, insisting that I leave you a trinket, my old heart, 

bright and worthless as a penny.
_______

For Transforming Fridays, "totem animal".

top image: Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil 

8 comments:

Mama Zen said...

How absolutely stunning! The third stanza is especially perfect.

hedgewitch said...

"My crows live for trickery because they are crows.
I am an honest woman, but they have nested in my heart,
so all night long I hear them gearing up their little printing press
and in the morning I am a prohibited edition and you have to act.."

You know I almost never quote, but you can;t write lines like that and not expect some unusual reactions. I love the tension in this poem, the ambiguity of the heart which knows good and evil to each extreme, and the music the crows make as they talk quietly to themselves, planning their next exhibition of destruction and/or street art. The sense of being an outlaw, too, is very strong here--all in all, a fantastic, original piece, Shay, as only you can do, bending not just the words, but the heart to your will.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

As always, Joy totally nails it with the best comment ever. I LOVE that crows have nested in your heart.....a wonderful write!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I really admire the amount of thought that goes into a poem such as this one - the attention to detail, the motif, all the characters so meticulously drawn. Very fine work, Shay.

Sioux said...

Gorgeous poem, Shay, as usual. My favorite? The last stanza, and then the stand-alone line that finishes it up. (The shiv line. Sheer perfection. I tried to figure out how to spell out a kissing sound, but was clueless.)

Lynn said...

Wow!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

All good here, except this
"We might have loved, you and I, in my gingerbread bed"
which was great. la la mosk

Hannah said...

Oh yes!! I love crows and I adore the idea of them nesting in a heart. This: "if we had met when people still cared about things." really resonates with me...I think that the world truly can feel like that sometimes. Beautifully dark and rich poem my fireblossom friend! Thank you, for writing and I apologize for the late visit.