My Neighborhood Murder

6 | 27 | 16

by Ed Makowski

A murder

of half a dozen crows

have started congregating 

kitty corner from my house

 

They flap into the trees 

and perch and circle and 

kaw to one another 

then swoop back down to their 

lowland territory 

of the vacant lot/shared garden 

and talk about it some more.

 

When I walk past, I 

stop and speak to them.

Ask how they’re getting by

and invite them to my 

raspberries if they like.

 

Last night a woman

with a passenger seat teenager

drove by, then 

reversed after seeing me on the porch

reading a book. 

She rolled down the window

and asked across her child’s lap

if this neighborhood is safe. 

I’m always aware of my surroundings 

and rarely feel threatened, so I am

probably the wrong person to ask. 

 

“I live here,” I told her, thinking

Does she not see my cherry tree, 

my apple tree, the peonies 

and strawberries and peach tree next door? Who that

is a terrible person, gardens? 

 

But the white people always think 

if they ask another white person

that question is somehow 

less insulting, less presumptuous. 

 

I can’t speak to the future of

her passenger seat daughter, 

but as long as I can see the crows

from my front porch 

and they can see me,

enjoying our lives 

parallel to one another

I know 

no harm will come to me

while I am here.