Cairns and Crows

 

The cairns are mothered

by murders of crows—

 

four stones as black as raven eggs,

others sky blue with specks of black,

 

pointing this way to heaven,

pointing this way to hell,

 

or is it to Tecumseh’s grave,

the bones of all buffaloes?

 

But then crows are great tricksters,

erecting spoof vortexes, medicine wheels.

 

They see everything at ground level,

the new landscape under their feet,

the old air lifting their wings.

 

They revel in the unbalancing

of everyday things

 

the sun, the moon,

the earth, the sky.

 

 They will flip flop when all are asleep

and flop right back in the waking dream. 

 

Crows know the cairn formed

where Cain and David’s stone’s fell,

where Jesus dare not cast the first one.

 

They know what happened to those

who stole the middle stone

causing the soldier to come,

 

the ones who rose when

their gravestones were removed,

 

the ones that mark where

the things of life are buried,

 

even the feather cairns that line

to the final game jump.