Glen Sorestad is a Canadian who lives and writes in Saskatoon on the great northern plains. His poems have been published in many countries and have been translated into eight languages. His latest book of poems is a bilingual Italian/English edition, Selected Poems from Dancing Birches, published by Impremix Edizioni Visual Grafika of Torino, Italy in 2020. Sorestad is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Hard to Love a Crow
The day my wife installed the several-pooled
water fountain outside on our back deck,
I expect we both shared the same vision:
robins and sparrows, warblers and finches,
chickadees and other songsters would arrive
at our burbling flow to drink and to splash.
What joy we’d share, inside, yet mere feet
away, experiencing effortless, comfortable
bird-watching, with no need of binoculars.
But over Eden, there hovered dark shadows
we hadn’t anticipated. Crows were the first
to discover our cascading waterfall and bath.
Their wiliness often amused us as they dunked
dried bread crusts before carrying them off.
But we also recognized their black presence
cowed smaller species, so much so, our fountain
became the feathered bullies’ private oasis,
which they commandeered with corvid zeal.
On the morning we watched one black assassin
dunk its breakfast, a robin fledgling, into the pool,
the chortling water was silenced for the summer.
The back of a two-week deep freeze siege
has been broken. From heated homes,
people emerge, tentative as Spring gophers
blinking at the sun. But it is not Spring
at all, the temperature still below freezing --
winter prevails. This brief respite from chill
stirs us all. A blue smear above and a skitterish
sun that skulks just above the southern horizon,
buoys us with a day parole from the cold
walls of winter. This warmth is ephemeral,
but listen—snow melt burbles its song
in the eaves, and we offer our tiny prayers …