I walked down our lane to get the mail in wet November. The news was full of disasters, the fog tight as a hairnet.
Then a raven tucked and rolled in the sparse yet snowy rain. His wings flapped, flapped then folded as he rolled and righted again.
A tree’s few leaves were buttons on the shredded yellow season. Ice lidded the eyes of potholes. The bird was a black loophole
in the late light and his call— a conceit both watery and crystal— was the playful reversal of a constricting universe.
He tucked and rolled the alpine air seven times, like a line of cursive that unfurled across the wet-white world.
The bird overturned a day that seemed bleak and bare when it rolled a seven in its play and made light of heavy air.
Joseph Powell has published six full-length collections of poetry. The most recent is Holding Nothing Back (Main Street Rag, 2019). Others include Preamble to the Afterlife (2013) and Hard Earth (2010). He co-wrote a textbook on meter called Accent on Meter, (NCTE, 2004). His book of short stories, Fish Grooming & Other Stories, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and he won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2009. He is an emeritus distinguished professor of English at Central Washington University.