John Ashbery

A Kind of Chill

He had a brother in Schenectady
but that was long, long ago. These days, crows
punch a time clock on a forgotten tract of land
not far from the Adirondacks. They keep fit
and in the swim with lists of what to do tomorrow:
cawing, regretting the past absolutely.
That spruces up the whole occasion
and energizes them in ways they never dreamed of.
His afternoon was on a roll,
and, as with anything else, he got sick of it.
No claims to adjust. No hovering in dark alleys
waiting for a priest, or the police,
most likely, if this were the end of the fiscal year.