Old Fish Crow – a poem by Barbara Tyler

Old Fish Crow

Walking into church we hear 
the raspy caw of a Fish Crow, 
his guttural uh oh alerts us 
to something we do not know. 

During the service I count 
four trains, the tracks only 
two hundred yards away, 
as the Fish Crow flies. 

In our traditional service 
I no longer hear children, 
no babies to interject during 
hymns, sermon, or prayers. 

In Sunday school the same 
bald man who links Bible stories 
to lost liberties, interjects twice today, 
never realizing he preaches to a choir 
of tired, old, white men. 

I note Isaac translates he laughs, 
while Ishmael means God hears, 
and my husband tells me later 
he didn’t realize concubines 
were an acceptable practice 
in Biblical times.

Please old Fish Crow, 
please tell me something 
I want to know.

Barbara Tyler is a visual artist currently trying her hand at poetry. She uses words for the same reason as visual media—to express emotional reactions to aging, relationships, and faith as well as history, culture, and nature. Her art and writing can be sampled at btylerfineart.com.

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