Yeah, I know I’m cheating now. So sue me. Bob loves this poem and I want to get it right for him. Course, he loves it because it is about him and Aislinn.
The Pet Crow
She’s told You have a fungal infection in your ears
and asks Stepdad What’s that? He peers,
Mushrooms! rare as truffles and he spills stories
full and biting as a thirty-gallon crawfish boil
poured over torn newsprint.
Maybe he’ll pull a mushroom or small corn cob;
each one will burn and taste so good
she’ll ask for just one more and he’ll tell
until the sky runs Pepto Bismol pink poured
over the Super Dome and this – she’ll remember
how she melted over the hood of her Daddy’s car
before away was the only place he drove
until she learned even memories break clean,
washed away like a fever.
Now is time to suck the juice
of the crawfish head and Stepdad speaks
of Cousin Al’s pet crow who could defeat every dog
in a game of pull the straw and came to his shoulder
when he called. Stepdad wanted one of his own.
Al knew of a nest fifty feet up cradling one baby crow.
He pulled the short straw,
says the bird is ready to fledge, tosses it out.
Stepdad pauses as they watch the crow in its glide,
she leans forward to note his cupped hands,
the sudden fall in his voice, and as she looks
a few inches to his left, an imaginary dent in the floor.