THE LIVELIHOOD OF CROWS
You ask me to explain the livelihood of crows.
I say nothing, only point to the darkening expanse
above where birds saw holes in shapes
like themselves. We are all replicas, Jackson.
In the field, a man spreads manure on the ground
where white cabbages grow. I saw his face this morning,
tilted toward the sun, and he looked as if he felt gratitude
for his shovel of dung, his stretch of land.
In the evening, when you go back to your sick wife,
I won't quarrel. I'll stand at my stove and boil
one of the cabbages down to soup.
I'll look out my window and watch the red eyes
of your taillights disappear down the road,
while overhead, black crows divide the sky in half.
I'll return to the stove, drop in chopped herbs, and onion.
I'll put up my hair, wash my face, and go on.
Years later, when I think of you lying beside me,
I won’t regret these things we've done.
Jayne Pupek holds an MA in counseling psychology and has spent most of her professional life in the field of mental health. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous print and online literary journals. She has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Jayne is the author of one book of poems, Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press, January, 2008) and two chapbooks: Local Girls (DeadMule, 2007) and Primitive (Pudding House Press, 2004). Her first novel, Tomato Girl, will be published by Algonquin Books in the fall of 2008. She resides near Richmond, VA.