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Saturday, February 08, 2020


by Kathleen McClung

Graphic for “Scare in the Crow” from the CD Heart of Wood by My Father's Son

I hear it first before I see: lone crow,
insistent, caws. A president who lies
and struts, here a loud bird.  The one surprise:
how long it grips that twig-ringed spot below
the Walgreens cursive script, the huge display window
of beauty creams, pills, potions, some device
for whitening our teeth—swell merchandise
or “perfect” in his lexicon. The crow
seems rooted to that perch, unyielding bird
commanding passersby to hear its call.
Sheer volume. Sheer relentlessness. No grace
or nuance here, no eloquence, no words.
Just shameless, crude intent: drown out, appall
all those outside its nest, its tilted base.

Kathleen McClung is the author of Temporary Kin, The Typists Play Monopoly, and Almost the Rowboat. She teaches at Skyline College and The Writing Salon and judges sonnets for the Soul-Making Keats literary competition. She lives in San Francisco.