All-Black Jigsaw Puzzle

Beady black eyes stare at the egg

Dark-feathered wings ruffle in anticipation

The tree is silent

And the nest is cold.

But the crow will wait.


The shell begins to crack

Ridges forming a spider web across the egg

A black beak pokes through

And spends hours struggling to remove itself.

The crow lands a peck on the top.


The egg shatters

Shutters of green falling away

Revealing the little one’s patchy, black body

His eyes twitch oddly and he cannot chirp.

The crow wraps around him.


His wings are too fragile to fly

His skinny legs barely hold him up

He rarely lets a sound slip from his beak

He is an all-black jigsaw puzzle

The crow chirps to him all the same.


She puts her beak in the wet earth at daybreak

Collecting enough squirming worms to feed them both

She gathers sticks and leaves and builds up the nest

Warming him when his sparsely feathered body cannot.

The crow empties her heart and gives him her blood.


He springs from the nest and 

Flying on broken wings

Flying on his mother’s lessons

Flying on her encouragement, her love, her determination

He soars.

The crow watches.


He whispers goodbye

But the crow knows it carries an important oath

A promise to one day

Say hello.

The crow waits.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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