My parents stopped speaking
to their friend Gene the summer
I began to shear off, thinking
that would save someone–me.
And three years before I lit out
from there like Gene’s jaded kids
whose names should have been
Whiff and Trace. Gene kept
a crow who culled what he liked
from that place as if packing

for a long trip to a fly-in
foreign market that sells
watches, keys, and scraps
of paper with complicated driving
directions. Banking his black wings
toward trouble. But then he died
on some doorstep—the crow,
not Gene– a pile of ruin
the wind rummaged. The next
bird broke its neck in the bars

of the cage and the third, a dove,
died mysteriously. Gene
said all this one day this year when,
after the quiet of a quarter-century,
my parents stopped to see him,
full of peace. It turns out Whiff
and Trace and I all roost far away,
since chicks can’t always stay. Before
we left what we loved for good
we collected everything we could.

Laurinda Lind lives in the U.S in New York’s North Country. Some publications/ acceptances are in Amsterdam Quarterly, Anomaly Literary Journal, Antithesis Journal, Blue Earth Review, Sonic Boom, and Two Thirds North; also anthologies Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan (New Rivers Press) and AFTERMATH: Explorations of Loss and Grief (Radix Media).