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March 26, 2009

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Crows and Seattle go together
like flowers and funerals. There
is a logic to their presence. Their
silhouettes are cut out from the
sky revealing the void behind.
Their coal black eyes seem to say,
When you die I'll be there to pick
you apart like a torn garbage bag.

Maybe that's melodramatic, but it
fits the mood of what I saw this
morning as I pedaled to work.
Any time they gather and screech
like this you know something is
going on so I stopped just in time
to witness a grisly breakfast: a crow
in the clutches of a falcon, pinned to
the street and desperately flapping
in a futile attempt to escape
. The
falcon was unperturbed, maintained
its grip and balance and pecked away
until its prey's head was just a bloody
wound. A group of crows is called a
murder, but that's really just hype.
Though they had the falcon way
outbeaked, the best they could do was
swoop and holler. It reminded me of
any number of protests I've attended
in Seattle. When the body went limp,
the falcon took off with it and the crows
followed in a hectoring procession. I rode
on to work. We all do what we must do.