Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 1, March 2011

Glenn G. Coats
Prospect, Virginia, USA


A Murder of Crows

rain pools
in the curl of a leaf
wet wings

Late November. Rain has stripped all the redbud trees clean. I can see deep into the pines. Sunset lights the spaces between black trunks. Orange. I hear the crows. They are talking softly in contented voices. Do they speak of rings and bracelets snatched from open windows? Are their nests lined in silver?

Crows steer clear of my place and choose instead the backyard of my neighbor who does not like people. He avoids humans. Darts in his house when a car rumbles down the gravel lane or when he hears joggers talking as they run. Never waves. Never says a blessed thing. Crows fuss all day behind his burning can. Even before a shotgun blasts in the forest, they caw in their warning voices. Does he throw them bread and scraps? Does he leave the lid off the trash can?

Jehovah's Witnesses are at his door now. Their clothes dark as pine trunks—the wings of crows. They hold bibles and papers under their arms and wait. He won't answer the door and listen to what they have to say. I could tell them not to waste their time and move on to the next place. They can't hear me, not with all the crows raising such a racket.

moonlit blossoms
the recluse steps
from his porch

*"moonlit blossoms" first appeared in Mayfly (Winter 2009)






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