Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Christmas morning

The raven lay dead.
Her beak slightly open;
one wing outstretched
in a mockery of flight.

The boy ran, feet pounding,
slingshot bouncing in his hand,
still so new it was Santa-fresh.

He really hadn’t meant to harm,
only to tease the birds,
scatter them. When one fell,
crushed, yet still all shiny black
against the frost,
his heart dropped
leaden
into his feet.

He would erase the moment,
if he could. But he could only run
before someone
came and found him
standing there,
guilty as sin.

The ravens, the others--
they knew, and they followed him
the whole way home
teasing and chuckling
like it was a special day, their feathers
a great sparkling gift
to the earth.


Rachel Westfall
December 18, 2008

5 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

Poor boy, though I'm with the ravens to be honest!

I like the phrase 'Santa-fresh'

RachelW said...

I'm with the ravens, too. Always.

'Santa-fresh' is something my son said about a gift he received a couple of years ago, though it was certainly not a slingshot. I value my windows, as well as the domestic and wild animals around us!

Ravens friend--MG said...

This poem reminds me of the time I worked in the Northwest Territory.

The MAN whom I worked for had given his two sons high velocity slingshots which they used to try and hit/kill ravens. I told the BOSS MAN that I will quit if he did not take these weapons away from his sons (he did).

Short time after that, I did quit, and I took the slingshots with me so as they could never ever be used to hurt/kill our friend the ravens or anyone else for that matter! :)

Raven Rise...

Raven Wise...

Raven Flys forever...

Ah, those black shiny beauties...;)

Ravy said...

How sad and beautiful too. I feel for the Raven, the boy, I see the blood on the snow the beak open, I see the other Ravens...more understanding of death..just a doorway..the light that darkness always holds but can never contain. Makes me think, Wado, Ravynwolfe

RachelW said...

Though it would be best to avoid these kinds of experiences altogether, I like to think we learn from them, becoming more compassionate and thoughtful beings.