at work

crows

my father whose penance was a thorough memory and
a frail heart that broke like a branch falls on the silence of snow
my father had a crow that called him from the depth of its wing
pecking at every word he wrote
my father whose education was remembrance
clawed upon the noble cortex of his brain
watched his mother dry the dishes
and learned too young to soothe her silence
with the tissue around his heart
memory burned like children’s fever burns
throughout the parents house
memory was a crow’s wing
suffered feather by feather
yet each morning
my father cracked his shell
each morning he hatched out of his past
walked to the bathroom
shaved
and went to work
with the persistence of the crow
with his mother’s tears dried on his wings