March 24th, 2011



Storm crows. Half a dozen crows, mostly walking, though occasionally making short flights, are heading south along the street, heads into the wind. All the hours I slept the wind disturbed me. Booming chimney, moaning and chattering trees, sheets of rain slapping the windows, the door testing its latch; all would wake me and lead me to pull the covers tighter over my head.

Who would rise to such a day? I burrowed into sleep as long as possible. Finally, such a crescendo of storm arrived that I could no longer return to sleep, and I opened the drapes to see the wintriest snowless day of the year; the sky low and gray, the air shot with streaks of rain, the trees waving wildly. In the midst of all this, the crows, walking.

One group would pass, then a short time later another group would appear. By dozens and half dozens the crows passed, grounded by the severe wind. When now and then one would attempt a flight, it would rise a few feet and almost hover, and if lucky make a short glide back to the ground several feet from its starting point. Most of the time they managed no more than short hops. But they kept going, crow after crow, heading toward the orchard. It was the damnedest thing.