Caws grate on January calm.
Through skeletal branches, fingery twigs,
a huddled shape roosts.
Crows hover above, squawk from neighboring limbs.
It gazes, ear tufts silhouetting grey skies.
The black horde thickens, circling, cawing
over the bleak sycamore.
From the deck a cat stalks,
and crows turn towards it.
The owl bursts through a woody portal,
feathers spiraling toward wet pine straw. Geese
honk, skim over treetops. The cat
races under the deck.
One by one crows rise and plunge
in winter mist. One remains, ruffles feathers,
preens, and glares at the empty perch.