We walk to the village each morning,
My dog and I.
She scours the ground for squirrels;
I look up for crows.
Always three or four of them
Perched on rooftops,
Across the street from each other
Calling their greetings.
Caw, response; caw, response.
Often a kind of chuckle,
Laughing down at us
Poor land-bound creatures.
To a morsel on the blacktop.
A small speck of something
To the discerning bird,
Who, satisfied, bobs his head.
We pass by him
As he rises with broad, black wings
And mocks our slow-footed journey
With his contemptuous, pitying eye.
Louise Coffin, a former high school English teacher in Atlanta, revels in her Swarthmore retirement.