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How the Plastic Bag was not a Crow

Lucy Alexander

It was not a crow.

Though waving. Though glistening.

Though waving and glistening on the road.

It was not a crow. Though the overing and overing

of black was like a crow it was not a crow.

Though the striking of the light was slightly bluish,

the moving of the bag in the breeze quite birdish

it was not a crow.

In the sun, in the glinting

Of the bag its wrinkles looked like feathers

for a moment

the bag’s crumples looked like a crow, broken by wheels.

I drove past slowly

hoping it was not a crow.

I was glad to see that although

the plastic bag did seem to have something inside it,

I was fairly sure it was not a crow.

And I left it there, being not a crow

– continuing to be not a crow –

waving its tentacles in the wind

looking a little bit like those bluish feathers

that crows so carefully preen…

And I risk my life in the traffic

to write how this plastic bag wavering in the wind

stuck down by the weight of something it contains

is not a crow.

And I drive away a little faster now

thinking when I next come back, the crow

might be hopping across the road seeking

to see what’s in the plastic bag, that tendrils

it’s feathery contents all over the bitumen

glistening a little in the sun;

– a bit like the feathers of the Crow.

Closeup of a Black Dog

Lucy is a resident of Gorman + Ainslie Arts Centre in Canberra. ‘Strokes of Light’ (2020) is her third collection. Her prose poetry earned her the 2022 CAPO Cook Creative Writing Award as well as being shortlisted for the Word Prose Poetry Award, 2022.

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