I sit near a crow and think what it must be like
to have wings, to leave gravity for what it is,
to fly over sea and land and sea again:
it would mean excitement to me, a dream,
but for the bird it seems not out of the ordinary.
We look at each other, creature to creature,
depending both on food and water,
mortal, fragile, and a lot of what we have in pairs:
two eyes, two legs, so much alike we are
in most important matters.
The crow may read my human mind,
and wonders why I don’t use my arms to fly.
I show him how I try, I flutter,
moving arms quickly up and down
with no result.
The crow beside me laughs and flies away,
only to return with two companions.
‘Watch that human,’ I can hear him say.
‘She has wings like dead tree branches.’
Inadequate I stand corrected by some birds.
The noise of a helicopter right above us
suddenly scares them away into the woods
making me feel triumphant
though I know I have lost it today
in more ways than one.