When I lose someone I love, I remember this poem, adding the new name in my heart. This piece appeared in the Southern Indiana Writers’ 2006 anthology, BEASTLY TALES.
He Tells Me I Cannot Love the Raven
by Marian Allen
He thinks I have some kindly bird in mind —
a trickster, spirit guide or Gothic prop —
He says I’m too upbeat to comprehend
the raven in his heart. This much is true.
I only know my own: Bitter and bleak,
oblivious to honor, grand design
or noble sacrifice, he doesn’t soar
above the carnage life leaves in its wake.
He perches on a corpse and tears its flesh.
This eye is dark. This mother’s son is meat.
“This one,” he caws, “and this one, and, one day,
‘this one’ will be you, cold beneath my claws.”
Violet, Mildred, Kenneth, Hazel, George,
Ruby — the list gets longer by the year
of those who’ve left me paralyzed with loss —
I see them in the glitter of his eye.
He feeds on mortality. In him, death is life.
Both are a moving banquet, a great feast
where death knell rhymes and chimes with dinner bell.
This is my raven, and I love him well.
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: What unexpected thing comforts your main character after a loss?