POETRY October 1, 2021

American crow (contrarian)

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From a trusted online database

The American crow is a member of the Corvidae 1 family. Cosmopolitan2, ambitious, and playful3, she is one of the smartest4 birds in the world. The American crow is often confused with a rook or raven; the rook has a slight white patch around its beak, and the raven is about twice her size. The crow has a monochrome5 appearance down to her feet, with iridescent-tinged feathers. She is not a rook or a raven.

The crow, despite6 popular belief, does not collect shiny objects. She does not treat foil gum wrappers like pewter but instead collects butterfly clips and Bonne Bell7 keychains. She would rather surround herself with lime green glitter8 and Dr. Pepper lip balm than broken CDs. The crow is surprised that this surprises others.

The crow does not have speech but shouts all the same9. She is best distinguished by her “caaW!” call. It intones10, “No. That’s not what I mean.” She seems to never stop11.

The crow remembers everything12 said to her, like “Amazing—and you figured all that out with a brain the size of a black walnut.” She does not use words like transubstantiation, but she does make13 tools that help her eat. She remembers Oscar-winning screenplays better than state capitals and wept over her grandmother’s face in an obituary. She does not have thumbs, but she knows about nutcrackers14, and Moonstruck15, and that they could have chosen a better final photo.

She crafts her home16 with typewriter ribbon and follows the same clematis17 vine of thoughts: Is there something to gain from not hearing me? If someone saw just this, the bed Ive made, theres no way they could mis-know18 me.

  1. ^corporeal
  2. ^consuming
  3. ^plotting
  4. ^smuggest; see also “self-inflation”
  5. ^monotonous
  6. ^deposing
  7. ^bauble
  8. ^litter
  9. ^time
  10. ^insists
  11. ^shut up
  12. ^examples; see also “exaggerations”
  13. ^take
  14. ^knick-knacks
  15. ^chick flicks
  16. ^hovel
  17. ^cloying
  18. ^misunderstand; see also “caconym”; see also “improper speech”
Aidan Daniel (she/her) is a writer and visual artist from Virginia. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at Randolph College and is the assistant managing editor of Revolute literary magazine. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Shenandoah, perhappened, Maudlin House, and the many scattered papers on her desk.