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The Braille on Packs of Paracetamol

October 2, 2014


I found a crow on the path.
I was out for a walk.
And there it was.
Dying on the path.
I think it was a crow.
Though I’m not sure.
It wasn’t a raven.
A raven is bigger, I believe.
And this bird wasn’t very large.
I couldn’t be sure.
Having never known.
How large a raven grows.
I’ll always remember it being a crow.

It was dying on the path.
Some cat or fox had caught it.
Had brought it to the brink of death.
Then left it.
Let it live a little while.
It was kicking at the dirt.
Soaking in the rain.
Trying to get away from nothing.
I was afraid.
A bit.
I thought about.
A way that I could save it.
Could pick it up and wrap it up.
In my jacket and carry it.
Back to my room.
And call a vet or charity.
Or nurse it back to health, myself.
Go to the library and learn.
How to care for crows.

But what did I know?
About things such as that?
I imagined.
Lifting it up from the dirt.
How I’d hurt it.
How it would struggle.
And hate me.
In terror.
Its heart beating blood.
From the wounds in its side.
Dying, still.
But furious.
As I tried to save its life.

And suppose, somehow.
I fixed it.
Made it well.
And went to release it.
On some hill.
Or wood.
Or moor.
The disgusting way it would look at me.
Like its enemy.
Would scratch.
And fight.
And peck.
And infect me.
With whatever parasites it carried.
Would writhe intolerably.
To be free.
From my soft arms.
And soft voice.
Choosing wilderness and threat.
Above any kindness I could show it.
Would see me.
As nemesis and foe.
Would take to the wing.
And beat the air.
To bring itself as far from me as it could be.
Would seek out wind and rain.
Above any care.
I would ever show it.

So I raised up my boot.
And my heel.
Brought them down.
On its neck.
And again.
And again.
Until it was still.
I walked away.
In the trees I heard.
The blissful, ignorant hymns of birds.
The rain pooled in the hollow.
In its glassy eye.
And I didn’t feel any better.
And I didn’t feel any worse.


From → Poetry

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