From Issue II (2017)
by DONNA O’CONNELL-GILMORE
A family of crows assembles in the deep snow.
The wind ripped through their roost last night,
the choice crabapples of summer freeze at their feet.
In its den the snake’s skin shrivels
while new skin shines the color of embers.
Come spring the snake will surge from old skin
and flash across the rocks, a begging target.
The black bulk of crow will dive into the blow,
the black beak will flip it and hack it.
There’s this sweet morsel in the middle of the belly.
Piquant, pink, and plump.
The crows press close together against the wind.
Their eyes roll back into their skulls and
gaze at the blaze on the rocks.
Donna O’Connell-Gilmore wrote weekly birdwatching columns for regional newspapers in the suburbs west of Boston during the ’80s and ’90s. Her first chapbook, Africa Is the Mother Who Lies in the Grass, poems on safari (2015, Sandheap Press) was described by Cape Cod Poetry Review as a “powerful” collection that “spans as wide as the safari’s grasslands in subject and style.” Donna’s poetry has been published in Willow Springs, Off the Coast, The Aurorean, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Prime Time Magazine, Written River, Glassworks Menagerie, Provincetown Magazine, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been exhibited by Broadsided Press on Cape Cod buses and annually at the Cape Cod Cultural Center’s Mutual Muses Exhibition.