copyright 2003 Mary Bertke
ask me why I haunt men as they march off to war
when the battle's done then in I fly
the anguish of their widows and the sorrow of their friends
my answer to you, sir, is: I try.
try to stop the marching men, yet off to war they go.
try to wash the portent-blood away, yet it stays.
send my crows to eat the dead to stop the spread of plague
it comes, no matter how I try.
I was just a school girl I knew not who I was,
memories of past lives locked away
my raven caught up with me as I walked to an exam
the dreams came to me as I lay that night.
did I deny the grim knowledge that I found:
faces, death approaching I could see.
uncle and my granny, I would see no more alive
knew even as I left them safe at home.
walk through life with mourning; I mingle with despair.
wince from looking closely at each face.
gaze can make no difference on if they live or if they die -
futility, still I must try.