Sherman Alexie


Crow Testament


1
Cain lifts Crow, that heavy black bird
and strikes down Abel.

Damn, says Crow, I guess
this is just the beginning.

2
The white man, disguised
as a falcon, swoops in
and yet again steals a salmon
from Crow's talons.

Damn, says Crow, if I could swim
I would have fled this country years ago.

3
The Crow God as depicted
in all of the reliable Crow bibles
looks exactly like a Crow.

Damn, says Crow, this makes it
so much easier to worship myself.

4
Among the ashes of Jericho,
Crow sacrifices his firstborn son.

Damn, says Crow, a million nests
are soaked with blood.

5
When Crows fight Crows
the sky fills with beaks and talons.

Damn, says Crow, it's raining feathers.

6
Crow flies around the reservation
and collects empty beer bottles

but they are so heavy
he can only carry one at a time.

So, one by one, he returns them
but gets only five cents a bottle.

Damn, says Crow, redemption
is not easy.

7
Crow rides a pale horse
into a crowded powwow
but none of the Indian panic.

Damn, says Crow, I guess
they already live near the end of the world.

Submitted: Friday, July 21, 2006
Edited: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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