Learning My Way Around
by Neile Graham
Only one raven seen on this journey but crows are common, watching brittle-eyed. More common yet — to hear and not see. Their calls open ears to shifting branches to tree tops, to sky stippled with flight paths far from city doors, a sound-trail. Breadcrumbs. Pecked and eaten. I walk my way through pollen-dusting woods. Break out into sun, surf, wind, mist. Calls and more calls build a tale more secret for hearing it. Breadcrumbs again. I pocket these stories knit them anew, left-handedly teasing and tangling teaching myself to knit by knotting, by untwining what's already spun and blending half this with half that. I claim all yarns. Sea mist pours through the cedars while drowned stumps rise in low tide. Their dryads turn to selkies now. Dsonoqua owl-moans deep in hemlock: a stream of salt water in the hills, sweet water in the sea. The sky wild blue, wild grey, all wind raising wave caps and cedar twigs to new heights to spin and settle on my cold new skin. Is its story mine or a trail designing me? Is it more raw than a bird's sharp caw in spring woods? Call me, call me now.
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