Some dreams come ill, a bad kidney or two maybe three. But no crow mourns for lost feathers. A magpie might. Black and white and able to recognize its own reflection. Black-billed Narcissus. Vain bird that you are. Sensitive corvid. My mother used to call me a magpie. In her poems, I was left for days in a bundle, when my parents returned, they learned I had flown away to the back of a nearby bison. What’s more American? Here, the food was plentiful until they killed all the bison. I had to find a new home, build a nest in riparian woodland. With the wolves sitting around me, I told them my life. They regurgitated new stories for me to dream. While they weren’t looking, I’d steal their food I’m a sensitive corvid after all. We have to survive somehow.
The imagery, the couplets, there is such beautiful construction in this poem, the craft, the message, the language, the birds. A perfect poem in my opinion. Many layers. I could write pages about this poem. Bryan was a friend, another poet introduced us over email when I was considering going to the Institute of American Indian Arts. All of his poems are as amazing as this one and I was fortunate to have spent time with him at school and in Madison. I love his work.