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A Flock Of Ravens

Grace Cavalieri

A flock of ravens is called "an unkindness"
in Jamaica, security guard once said.
Where was her security now? Why did she fire that guard?
Because he wouldn't pick up her coat?
She could not sleep. The doctor said pretend you are unraveling
the last 18 minutes of your life.
The pill made her think there were edges to the sky,
she wouldn't fall off.
She hated this country house.
She heard the keeper bridle the horses.
She heard the groom run down shouting he'd take over.
That's why she couldn't
be a bride. The straps on the back.
The horses. Her True Love once said he was bridled by love.
She looked it up. It sounded awful.
With steadfast devotion the medicine
softened all hard edges with mercy,
so she took a little more mercy,
no one can have enough.
She knew Jesus would save her.
The room flattened to a pillow.
She slept through the owl dying in peace in the barn...
the vulture and green flies fighting for food...
Mr. Rooster Death crowing and screeching...
the robin shaking the red from his breast onto the trees.
She slept through the pigeons
cuddling and cooing behind the cornice.
She slept and slept and slept...
and when she opened her eyes the ravens stood
side by side waiting to peck.
They said we cannot open this large and frozen carcass.
Only then she woke
to miss everyone she ever knew, in that first emptiness.
She even missed being mistreated.
Now that all the animals of the forest
were gone from her, what would they become?
She needed to go back to the city now. Today.
First, a little nap.

Grace Cavalieri

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