raven

‪Filmy-winged gnats are blown past the porch, pale as snowflakes in the strong sun. Overhead, the fierce cries of ravens playing in the wind.‬

‪Ten degrees above freezing at sunrise. A squirrel leaps through the soft snow like a salmon swimming upstream. High overhead, a raven calls.‬

Two ravens hang high against the clouds without flapping a wing. Two more appear and attack, croaking, and all four soar off to the north.

Alarm calls of jays give way to crows; the crows to a raven. With each corvid, the cry comes from higher in the blue—and closer to the bone.

Scattered crow caws coalesce into a flash mob filled with rage, but dissipate in less than a minute. High up in the clouds, a raven croaks.

The clouds of white snakeroot in my yard host one tiger swallowtail, glamorous as a celebrity in a trailer court. A raven’s metallic croak.