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Poetry 2009 Second Prize
 
 

A MURDER OF CROWS

By Maitreyi Karnoor

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A red and black macabre sight of the peckers of dead eyes,
Hung out like washing—washing off the burdensome guise
Of compassion from the conscience—the peckers, not the eyes;
Their own eyes staring into an ever ghoulish nothingness.                                                   

Their will-less wings flung open, at the mercy of
Merciless winds, swaying gently back and forth,
Stilted up by pneumatic bones; as light in life as in life shorn,
Scaring away their own cawing species, demanders of a share in corn.

Scariest of scarecrows—death
Fear of death to keep off food. The very food
They fight for out of a love of breath 
Sometimes—a fight to death: never a paradox so morbidly good.

Turn a blind eye to it, as blind as a dead crow’s
For its feel is unknown—unheard, unread until your own.
Let out a converse sour-grape whine;
Its rancid juices are not mine: dog-eat-dog eat crow!