Raven at the Crossing
Do you seek a pattern in all this whiteness,
asks the woman dressed as a raven.
Or is she a raven, cloaking a woman in feathers and wool?
You’ve tramped through new-fallen snow to this edge
where land dissolves into not-frozen water, where fog
is indistinguishable from water, sky inseparable from fog.
Woman-Raven, Raven-Woman—her blackness is a bridge
between these white strata:
snow-covered scrub, water, fog, sky.
Her curtsey drags the hem of her cloak
in the drifts, bows her long cardboard beak toward the water.
If this is a gate, she is its keeper.
Where her corvid mask points, you see
a distant line of grey figures.
Snow-covered trees, most likely. Or ghosts.
Another land at another water’s edge.
Would you go, if a boat waited?
There is no boat. There is only a raven
dressed as a woman in a raven costume.
A bare branch overhead hints at an invisible forest.
Red and white beads hold feathers to her cloak.
The beads rattle like icicles falling into each other.
Red is the world’s only colour, the only sound in the silence.
Hannah Silverstein lives in Vermont. Her writing has appeared in Si Señor, The New Guard, and SWWIM Every Day.
The Ekphrastic Review
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