To begin with, Chuck is a black crow, and
He's straight out of Hitchcock central casting
Except for his high-topped orange, black
Laced tennies, which, now that I think about
It, would make it hard to grip onto those
Iron jungle-gym bars, where school teacher
Annie Hayworth—in three vignettes—sees crows:
First one alights, followed by a few more,
Until, finally, hundreds of birds crowd
Every inch of that jungle-gym, and
Annie knows something's just not right in
Bodega Bay; but Annie keeps her cool
Even when all hell breaks loose, as it does
Do invariably, from time to time.

Chuck stands apart from the other black crows
You know, the ones without the tennis shoes
Relentlessly chasing the school children
As they run screaming and crying down the
Country lane, in vain, as the birds peck and
Claw and terrify the young who madly
Race—some falling—to their seemingly safe
Harbor village now with it's own problems

I'd like to think that our Chuck might hold back
Not that he could not terrify with his
Black needle beak—sharpened to Pencil B
Precision—and peck an eye out in a
Surgical strike, leaving the bloody mess
For the nurses to clean up afterward
As school nurses inevitably do

But our Chuck seems satisfied looking on
From a distance, in his orange tennis shoes
I guess some crows like to stay put and watch.






© 2009 Stephan J Harper. All rights reserved.

back to short stories and poems