Richard Schiffman

Hawks and Crows

The sky, I’ve noticed, does not stop
to chart the flight of crows,
nor crows recall their flight
through air.
Neither does the night
record the course of stars.
Though earth leaps daily
through a flaming hoop of sky,
every day it is another earth,
another hoop entire.
And once the hummingbird
has sipped the honey, it darts straight
to the nearest flower.
It does not rest upon its nectar-
laurels, nor name itself
the poet-laureate of meadows.
And even death, I’ve noticed,
does not rest. Though every day
it scores fresh wins,
they are reversed by birth.
And life’s advances
are equally erasable,
as the flight of crows,
erratic and untraceable.
Which is why death never ends
the game—like a hawk chasing a crow
chased off by crows.


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