in the crossbars of
the power pole
is saying, Hey John.
You don’t have to worry, man.
You are not one of those who bring so much courage
to the world that it has to kill you
So don’t ruffle your feathers.
Pardon? I say.
I can read you like a book, he says, speaking of which
‘But it will break you.
It breaks everyone.
But you are one of those strong in the broken places’,
as Hemingway would say.
You read Hemingway?
Of course, who do you think I’m quoting?
You are a most learned crow, I say.
But it will kill you, he says,
‘It kills everyone
the very brave and very gentle
but if you are neither of these it will still kill you
but there will be no special hurry’.
That is sort of comforting, I say. Thank you.
‘Farewell to Arms’, he adds. Due attribution.
You should read it sometime.
I think I have, but not with the diligence you accorded it.
And with a flick of his suave black wings, he flies away.