A Crow Among Gulls

You joked about returning
as a gull, with no dietary
restrictions. You insisted
you’d feed happily on garbage.

Two months and a day
since your last breath,
I spill frozen bread onto
the frozen ground: your
birthday gingerbread,
crusts of toast, stale crackers,
Christmas cookies you would
have loved.

The gulls gather, descend,
make quick work of these
offerings, then lift by threes
and sixes, to glide on thermals,
or to bob in the harbor, as if well-
fed and unbothered by the cold
I’m bundled and braced against.

A single crow lands, begins
to clear crumbs too small
for a gull’s beak. I’ve been told
crows recognize human faces,
but I’m not able to say this
is the crow you photographed
last spring. I remember only
you, laughing, among the gulls.

Martha Christina is a frequent contributor to Brevities. Longer work appears or is forthcoming in Red Eft Review and Crab Orchard Review. She lives in Bristol, RI, where for many years she taught creative writing at Roger Williams University.

See more of her work in 6.3 here.