Learning My Way Around

by Neile Graham

Only one raven seen on this journey
but crows are common, watching
brittle-eyed. More common yet —

to hear and not see. Their calls
open ears to shifting branches
to tree tops, to sky stippled

with flight paths far from city doors,
a sound-trail. Breadcrumbs. Pecked
and eaten. I walk my way

through pollen-dusting woods.
Break out into sun, surf,
wind, mist. Calls and more calls

build a tale more secret
for hearing it. Breadcrumbs again.
I pocket these stories

knit them anew, left-handedly
teasing and tangling teaching myself
to knit by knotting, by untwining

what's already spun and blending
half this with half that. I claim all yarns.
Sea mist pours through the cedars

while drowned stumps rise in low tide.
Their dryads turn to selkies now.
Dsonoqua owl-moans deep in hemlock:

a stream of salt water in the hills,
sweet water in the sea. The sky
wild blue, wild grey, all wind

raising wave caps and cedar twigs
to new heights to spin and settle
on my cold new skin. Is its story mine

or a trail designing me? Is it more
raw than a bird's sharp caw in
spring woods? Call me, call me now.

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