to their lurking.
She keeps an eye on the silver maple,
its leaves golden-veined.
Twelve hooded crows on the lower branches
cast long shadows
on the cut grass. Last season’s boots
pounded against the porch railing,
unglossed feathers and mucked coins
released onto the dirt.
Dusty mandibles pulled from coat pockets
like trick sleeves. Silly superstitions, she says.
Occiput and crown flecked with violet blue,
her father lifts from the tree,
settles on the porch step. His neck
metallic and black when she snaps it.
He bobs in a pot of salted water above a low flame.
A slow boil keeps him tender-boned.