What Is There to Say?
There he is again.
My shiny black crow friend.
Perched on the wire connecting
Our apartment to electricity or cable.
He turns his head to catch my eye.
His black eye inside my green eye.
We are joined once more.
Several days ago I watched him
Or one of his fellow crows
Working on the street by the curb
Trying to get two pieces of tapioca
Out of a clear plastic cup
With a straw.
He tried all sorts of angles
Until he finally dislodged one tapioca
Away from the bottom
And, using the straw, carefully
Got it close enough to the lip of the cup
That he could get his beak inside to grab it.
Then, applying what he had learned,
He got the second piece of tapioca out as well.
Off he flew, straw clutched in his beak.
My first experience with the amazing
Talent and intelligence of crows
Happened about forty years ago.
I was in New Delhi
And because of some untoward
Turn of the political situation in Kashmir,
Where I was meant to go,
Was forced to cut my trip short
By two days and return to Sri Lanka
Where my family was staying.
I arranged my ticket
And sent the ashram
Where they were staying, a telegram.
I took the plane from Delhi
To Chennai (then Madras)
Flying to the Pallali Airport
In the north of Sri Lanka.
When I arrived and deplaned, there was my family
And Amma the woman who ran the ashram.
”Oh, good, you got my telegram.”
They gave me a blank stare.
They had not received it.
I asked how they knew to meet my plane two days early.
“The crows told us.”
He stayed standing on the wire
Looking directly at me.
Catching my eye.
We were connected—knowing that our own two kinds
Were communicating—so much in common
Our minds taking each other in
We were friends in our own way.
We were one. It was beautiful.