Did I stop to save us? I knew death, and I welcomed its pause. Handsome mottled
neck and a long scraggly tail, riding the gravel shoulder past my immediate knowledge.
I imagined myself an artist with that certainty, accurate talons and a hunger for sleep.
Then a lump of brown at the roadside, a second body, mine or some other in
disguise, recurring colors and a hidden loss, identifiable by its lack of motion in the
swaying grasses. I held on to the wind and the wind led me there. I cradled the still warm
body and reached beyond my experience. I pressed the warmth to my belly, as I might a
feathered child, and a single egg slipped from this warmth, a possibility imagined by the
cup of my hand.
A crow called from a broken fence post he owned. I was delaying his meal. I was
delaying the justice of such a world. I was harboring a fugitive and the storm was on its
The wind reminded me of my distance and the egg of my past. How this happened
I do not know, but I know why, and I am sorry I cannot apologize for any of it, no matter
how many deaths may arrive.
The crow rose and held in the wind. I tossed the egg higher than anyone could have
and there I watched the crow catch life before it opened and devour it like a shadow in
But here on the road built by man I turn and place the warmth in the grass before I
even know if my offering can be returned. One life is not enough. Not even mine.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.