Unkindness of Ravens


Aki growls her way down our home street. I look around and can find no dog close enough to hear her trash talk. Then a furry black blur tears past us, gives Aki a ferocious snarl and ducks down a set of stairs. My little dog continues on, pulling like a sled dog down the street. I have to do a shuffle-slide to keep from falling. I wonder if the snow is energizing her.


Quarter-sizes flakes drift down on us, melting on Aki’s back as soon as they touch it. It accumulates on the leafless limbs of alders and cottonwoods, making each tree look like an Escher print. We power up Gastineau Avenue, passing the owners of a jeep being helped by two garbage truck guys to free it from a snow bank.


Further along the avenue an unkindness of ravens forms around an abandoned package of meat. One sits nearby on a sidewalk railing, plucking snowflakes out of the air with its beak. Over on Sixth Street the faces on a totem pole have new, white beards.



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