But even if they won’t have tomorrows with me,
I often awaken in time to see
Dawn’s initial understanding,
But at first light today what appeared to me
Were three crows, off in the field standing.
I wondered, ‘Is this some kind of warning,
Or the unseen world’s shorthanded way
To let me know that my death comes with the dawning
And this is to be my last earthly day?’
‘Should I run and wake my sleeping wife,
Tell her one last time of the depth of my Love,
Give her all of the hidden secrets of my life
Before I am called back to that I was made of?’
‘Shall I hold my son one last time
Praying and imploring him to grow to be a Man?
Or should we play and sing some silly rhyme
So I can hear his laughter as I hold his hand?’
I awoke this morning, as always, seeking the sun
And found instead three solemn crows.
Now, wondering if my life is now done,
Should I shoulder my lifetime of woes?
‘Will she remember me to the children
While I lay rotting in the ground?
Or will some other man grow with them,
And take all of my pictures down?’
‘Will she cry for me in the night? ,’
Is what I ask these hateful crows,
‘Or forget me once I am out of sight?’
I guess I’ll never really know.
But then I stop my breast beating and ask,
‘Is this how I am, is this really me?
To see three birds, casually hopping past
And let myself start to feel all melancholy?
If these that I love grow to forget me,
Then that is, of course, their right.
They’ll all know that I loved them last night.
I tell these crows, ‘Yes they may find another
If with you I am called to go today,
But if you look into their hearts you’ll discover
That my memory there will ever stay.’
‘So I won’t be split by this internal strife,
Stupid birds, if you’ve come to carry me on.
The saddest thing that I know about life
Is that life must always go on.’
‘I will not let my soul be lost
Even,’ I say, ‘if it is time for me to die.’
And with that the crows as one take off,
And silently up, over my head, fly.
‘Be gone,’ I say. ‘A good riddance to you,’
I scream at their ebon tails,
‘Love is Love and that stays true
Even when all else fails!’
I stand a little longer in the doorway
Just enjoying the fair weather.
And on returning to bed, I have nothing to say
Finding my wife, newly stilled, lying next to three black feathers.