Friday, August 24, 2007
The upslope of the mountain hissed in the breeze.
The air was cold, more like an autumn morning than August. Across the surface of sky, clouds tucked tightly in blue, and their shadows slid over the mountains.
The crow tipped its head to a change in the light, then resumed work. Its beak poked and probed the hemlock needles at its feet. In the reflection of its mirror-black eye, a weave of twigs grew.
A sound crackled from the clearing below.
The bird's wings flinched, and it's head arrowed down.
A curled man moved in the leaves. His bare legs were streaked with dew.
The crow leaped, wings beating.
It's caws broke over a lull in the wind.
Below, bleary eyes blinked. The man's face was cut and stained. His knotted hair drooped with bits of weeds.
The crow passed over and soared across the valley. Hugging the rising air, it watched its shape whoosh over the treetops. Its little shadow cut across the march of ghost clouds.
From behind, the man's scream thinned in the distance. An insult to the crow's vast heaven.
Still climbing, it crested the next ridge, and far away, specks of yellow jerseys swarmed. Red and blue lights flashed where trails met highway.
The crow heeled back over its blurring green domain.
The men scratched a tortured path through the forest.