Crow Banquet by Leah Mueller
The crow is smarter than you are,
he’s not leaving until
he has everything he wants.
He never approaches softly.
There is no time for bullshit.
A garbage can needs to be opened,
NOW. His screwdriver beak
pries open the lid. He feasts
on greasy bags, then flies
upward again, like an angry rocket
that always runs behind schedule.
The crow might have missed
something important, or another bird
may have gotten to it first,
and the idea makes him furious.
He has worked too hard
to be deprived of his spoils now.
He is never more hungry
than when he has just finished a meal.
Eating only stimulates his appetite.
Meanwhile, you can barely
rouse yourself from the couch
to make a sandwich. The store
is ten minutes away, and
traffic is never light-
someone always goes too fast
in the right lane, or too slow
in the left. When you get to the store
you can never remember what you wanted.
You fill your cart with useless items.
Someone has tossed a piece of toast
on your car, and a crow spots it,
lands with a bang on the hood,
and eats until every bit of it is gone.
As he ascends, he brags to the others
about his conquest: the stale crust
they will never get to eat,
the white blobs of dough
turning to bile in his stomach.
The bile is his fuel,
and he will inherit everything.
Until then, he won’t stop laughing.
Leah Mueller is an independent writer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of one chapbook, “Queen of Dorksville” (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2012), and two full-length books, “Allergic to Everything” (Writing Knights Press, 2015) and “The Underside of the Snake” (Red Ferret Press, 2015). Leah was a winner in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, sponsored by Winning Writers. Her work has been published in Blunderbuss, 2 Leaf Press, On the Verge, Origins Journal, Talking Soup, Silver Birch Press, Semaphore, Yellow Chair Review, Cultured Vultures, and many other publications. She is a regular contributor to Quail Bell magazine, and was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival.