Saturday, October 02, 2021

Birdtober Day Two: Artist's Choice


Today for Artist's Choice I chose to write about White-necked Crows, the Caribbean's largest corvid. These birds are loud and huge (17-18 inches long) and I wrote about them before here. Even though I started this project as a bit of a "Look up in the sky and away from what's happening down here on the ground," I find that the Haitian situation has crept into today's poem. Last week I pointed some White-necked Crows out to a Haitian friend and she replied that back in July there were many of them around (I was out of the country). She added that people always say that they mean something bad is going to happen. I didn't know that before, but I can imagine why, with their raucousness. She said it sounded like they were fighting in the sky, and then they found out the president of the country had been assassinated. I used the Kreyol word for these birds in my poem title.

A Murder of Korbèy

White-necked Crows’ cacophony in early July
Sets people in Haiti talking darkly of omens
Until the news fills with unendurable details
And a president is gone


©Ruth Bowen Hersey

Screenshot from the Merlin app


1 comment:

Michelle Kogan said...

powerful poem-commentary Ruth, I think using the crows as a foreboding sign of things to come/things that have come works well, especially in retrospect… And my heart sinks from the tragedy.