Me: My sister died this morning.
Crow: I’m sorry. Was she shot? Poisoned?
Me: No. I don’t know what to do.
Crow: We often form a circle around the body,
then fly off and return with twigs and
leaves for cover, maybe something shiny.
Me: I can’t do that—her body is gone.
Crow: Oh. Then tonight I will dream of her
from my roost. Tomorrow watch for me
on that pine branch and listen to my
song of loss and sorrow for you.
Me: Thank you.
Crow: From now on look for her radiance on every
blade of grass, in every drop of water.
Will you do that?
Me: Yes, I will try to.
Crow: Now, close your eyes,
breathe — again fold both wings
over your heart.
Me: Like this?
Sandy Longley is a recently retired English Professor. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Navigating the Waters, in 2016. Other publications include New Millennium Writings, Nimrod International Journal, Southword Journal, Spillway, Passager, Mudfish. She divides her time between Delmar, NY and Provincetown MA.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 / MUSEPAPER POEM PRIZE #32 / RITUAL & ROUTINE