Van Gogh's Crows, by Barbara Crooker
Van Gogh's Crows
My son has been pacing, wringing his fingers,
flicking from news to weather channels,
as a hurricane moves up the coast.
His panic is palpable, lurks in the murky air
pushed up from the tropics ahead of the storm.
Nothing we say can calm him, as he wears a groove
in the rug. I think of Van Gogh, those wheat fields
under the pulsing sun, the scornful voices of the crows,
the writhing blue sky. Think how hard the simplest action
must be when those voices won't leave you alone,
when even the stars at night throb and gyrate.
My son says his skin crawls, his back is always itchy.
What would it be like to lift from this earth,
rise above a sea of molten gold, scratch
your name on the blue air, "caw caw caw,"
be nothing more than a black pulse beating,
rowing, your way back to God?
This poem first appeared in Barbara Crooker's book, Radiance (Word Press, 2005.)
Barbara Crooker is the author of many books of poetry; The Book of Kells is the most recent. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Commonwealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, The Poetry of Presence and Nasty Women: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. www.barbaracrooker.com
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