Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two Ships Passing

He said
"I have a crow."
We were in the same aisle
At the grocery store.  He was an
old man.

I was
Buying dog food.
"What?" I asked, startled out
Of my rote purchases and lists.
"A crow,"

He said,
Again and smiled,
At me.  He had food stuck
to his teeth and he needed a shave.
"My pet,"
He said.

Wasn't I in
A hurry?  Didn't I
Still need to buy catfood deodorant
radishes and
a Newspaper?
I didn't have time to stop

And listen
To a lonely
Old man talk about his
Pet crow.

"He won't leave.  I feed him cheerios.
He listens to my granddaughter
more than me.  She lives with me, my granddaughter.  She's
a girl, he's a boy.  He listens to her.  She has a Pekingese,
the darnedest thing. The two of them
get into trouble
together. All she has to do it
say "Don't you do that," and
they both will stop before they even start."

"Ah, that's cool."

He said, "the vet, he says he
stays because I fed him.  It's against the law, you know,
to put them in a pen.
A house is a pen.
But welfare,
they said just open the door
and I said you open the door and see what happens."

"He won't leave?"

He said, "Nope.  He had a
broken wing.  I fixed it.
I think the cat across the street got him.  But now when the cat comes over he flies up into the tree and calls all of his buddies and they chase him away."

"He must have it good."

He said, "Yes!  One night I cooked a steak but it wasn't so good and when I came back it was gone and I thought he had a good meal but the next day I was lying on my swing on the porch and he dropped it right down on my head!"

"Wow.  He doesn't fly away?"
(radishes)
"Never," he said.  His eyes shine.
They are wide and vivid and
Stare into mine.  "Never.  I've
had him four
years....
My grandson... one...
Christmas tree...
Granddaughter...
He flew...

(Catfood.
Deodorant.  Radishes.  Do we need
Lettuce? Lightbulds.  I still need
Catfood)

"That's a cool story.  Thanks."

I cut
Him off and turn
My cart around but not
Before I see his face fall, just
A bit.
Just enough.

Later,
In the car, on
The way home, I wonder.  That
Man and his Crow.  What an
Interesting story.
And I wonder if
I will someday be that man,
Eager to share a small miracle
With a total stranger who is
Someone
Like me.

I forgot to ask the crow's name.

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