Crow has a superpower, though he is neither hero nor villain: He makes us see.
We can’t avoid him. We certainly can’t outsmart him. We can only sigh, “Fine! Whatever!” and write poems to make sense of him.
In one week, two poems by Julie Cadwallader-Staub about blackbirds appeared on The Writer’s Almanac. While I know blackbirds and crows are not the same species for me, these poems are about Crow, who stole my son’s glasses and eventually returned them, but who will not let me go.
I saw a flock of blackbirds
rounding a corner I didn’t know was there
That’s what Crow did for me when he stole those glasses—he showed me a corner I didn’t know was there. His thievery gave me dozens of poems and the book Rainbow Crow. Crow allowed me to turn a corner I didn’t know I needed to round.
Why me, I wondered for a long time. Why did Crow swoop into my yard, swerve through my thoughts, beckon me into his mystery, and dance away with what I prized? As I kept reading Crow and writing Crow, I saw his choreography in other lives as well. Most of us lose things, lose people, lose hope. We can become as unmerciful and callous. Or we can Turn.
and now the tree stands breathless, amazed
at how it was chosen, how it was changed.
Like the tree, I was changed by Crow. I thought I was supposed to write my story. Now I see I was supposed to write his.