Share https://www.terrain.org/mp3/33/Perry_CountryGospel_Crow.mp3Country GospelCrow alone on the only dead river birch in a young stand.The sun, of course, undoes the blackness of the bird’s packed featherswhen it leaves the tree. Its wings re-cross the air around the bodythey lift to the sky, and every color we know boils out of their backs.Our day is half-over, the light stranger. Everyone will be happy over there,they say, where the crows will still be black. At least, I hope there arecrows. Does heaven have harbingers? Is there a place in light for what it lacks? https://www.terrain.org/mp3/33/Perry_CountryGospel_Light.mp3Country GospelLight snow today, the lightest you can imagine. Just a skiff of color-shifton the froze-up ground. Around our heads when we stood up from work that hadus bending down was flurry static and in our heads dynamic bloodrushing as it does to where it goes. At times it seemed I’d lost a compassI almost always have at hand— the one that tells me where to lookto find the center my eyes require, one that parses out the grey musicof basic winter, what divides the mind from the sky and gives us a place to stand. https://www.terrain.org/mp3/33/Perry_CountryGospel_Frost.mp3Country GospelFrost was right about the sound of trees. Also, they are the oceanfor interior places like these (without roads too near, I should add, which partly washis point—all that hawing about leaving or staying still). What they will dois mostly clear. One thing they seem to do is steer the meadow further oninto the west, but I know illusion when I see it. No one is drivingthis thing for real. We wail in wind and wonder who or what will hearthe shiver-shift of our branches, I mean our hands, stretched out above the field. Nathaniel Perry is the author of Nine Acres (APR/Copper Canyon, 2011). He is the editor of the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review and lives with his family in rural southside Virginia.