The Dance

 
Painting:  Sonja Rosing

Painting: Sonja Rosing

 

A murder of crows dressed
in feather tuxedos twirl
on a dance floor of asphalt
in a ballroom of snow

with the stiff and scarlet-
clad corpse of a doe.

Her body lies prone, collapsed
on the stage of of the road, folded
double, a dancer taking
her final bow.

A car passes. Crows flap
the lapels of their waist coats

and scatter, landing in boughs
of a nearby pine. Does pain
matter? Does it matter
if life drops away like a coin

through a slot? What is sold,
what bought, what taken,

what given away? Look
at beauty, look how it falls.
Listen to the calls of the crows.
As if God borrowed the pine,

the blood, the slick birds,
the doe to know life and death

for a day, letting predator
and prey each have a turn
to yearn for one moment
before dying or flying away.

—Published in Allegro & Adagio, edited by Johnny M. Tucker, Jr.

Painting:  Sonja Rosing

Painting: Sonja Rosing