Susan Cohen

Rosh Hashanah with Crow

The crow who made me swerve
stood in the street, peeling the dried fruit of a carcass. 
It could have killed me with its gift for prophecy— 
foreseeing I’d steer around it into traffic and back, seconds 
before it merged with the blackness of my tires.
It would not let go of the string, crow feet 
adamant and planted like a tyrant’s. 

In my rearview mirror, the bird remained
alive and bent in conversation with oblivion, tearing
at whatever grease was hardened on the pavement.
I drove glancing backwards
at how the crow kept bowing to the spread on its altar. 
Do I ever abandon myself to any appetite so completely
that I forget to listen for the rumble of disaster?

This was Rosh Hashanah, a day to be written
once again in the book of life, with its running addendum 
of casualties. A day to dip into the honey, 
but no one in my family was close enough to share it
except by text: l’shanah tovah across cities and continents. 
How I wanted someone near me to celebrate 
our mutual survival: mine, and the crow, and the Jews.