Written Receipts for Paid Attention
January Crow by Michael Douglas Jones
My poet heart is writing on a pass of paper clouds moving left to write across the frozen northern fields; a crystal breath, billowing, filling the late afternoon with wonder and words that appear, and disappear, in moments of vivid crescent light and violescent shade.
Crows flock in as punctuation; a caw here, a comma there, returning to roost in the fine handwritten script of bare maple branches. Turkey vultures sail in too, crossing the T's of hickory trees, and underlining the rhyme in blueblack. From my cottage, to the south behind, a faint scent of bitternut smoke colors this poem in bittersweet.
And here I stand in the still, below the westwrit wind; my pencil in my pocket, my poet heart tucked up my sleeve. I raise my hand to write this down, to carry it in leatherbound, but the pencil pulls the poem apart, and all of this begins again.