Shorty, the Crow

by on Nov 16, 2016

The bent man on a bridge in Amsterdam
feeds crows from his hand.

We are suburban beings, you and I.
I don’t need you to need me that way.

We found each other when you were young,
fledgling with blood-red throat and blue eyes.

That I do not speak like angels doesn’t matter.
You come when I caw out a rasp-hello.

You bring blackness and shine
To the street lamp, my offer on a mailbox.

Three bows, three cucks. I bow back.
Are we friends for fat and kitten kibble?

Did I help you through last winter,
you with short tail feathers?

I admire the risks you take. Trust
that I will see you on the roof.

As I bend down to pull the willowherb,
you fly low, over. Black shadow is back.

You’re ready for me to call again.
I do, every day,

call out my loneliness.


Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet with more than a casual interest in crows, creeks, and climate change. Her poetry collections include Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press, 2016) and a chapbook Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press, 2014).  Website: