Thursday, 20 October 2016

Raven Kept Watch

by Elise Stuart

The Raven is considered a messenger
by several Native American tribes.

Raven sat high above,
watching the brown house
with its empty front porch,
broken picket fence,
battered gate.

He heard the shouting,
the punch,
the slaps, the screams . . .
Then nothing―except
early morning silence.

Raven saw a large man
who walked slow,
pushed himself
into a red truck,
drove a crooked path.

He made a deep kraa sound.
She awoke from restless sleep,
glanced out the window―
the truck gone,
black raven on the pole.

She looked around,
nothing to take,
nothing she wanted.
Pulled her jacket on
to cover the bruises.

Raven followed her
as she ran down the sidewalk,
away from the road the man had taken.
Swooped down from his perch,
wings wide.

As she stepped off the curb,
a woman in a pickup stopped to let her by.
Raven circled.
The woman mouthed thank you, thank you,
a long scar running across her face.

* * * * *

Elise Stuart is Silver City Poet Laureate.

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