2013 Writing Contest Winner
by Sara Boyett
Part of what makes fine poetry is enabling the reader to see the everyday — like the ravens that flock around our yards and fields — in a fresh way. Sara Boyett, a finalist last year for her essay, "Notes on Being a Newcomer," does just that as she turns her hand to poetry.
These ravens may be bird imposters.
Like all authority figures they
wear serious black with collars.
Your eyes obey the All Rise
to watch them cross the sky
or preside from a pulpit pole.
They spend their day at the dump,
and from them no secrets are hid.
Twice a day they pass the cemetery.
Burials interest them greatly.
Favorite topic of corvid gossip is decay.
They sleeken on scraps and irony.
Original conspirators with Fate,
they appear when you need them,
and sometimes call you by name.
They never answer a direct question,
but they know whose name is on
the deed to the air.
They row home to their rookery when
light begins its slow slide toward night.
Low over roofs and porches they come,
at times so low you feel the rush of air
from their wing strokes on your face,
filling, for an instant, the sails of your life.
Sara Boyett is an historian with a background in preservation and museum work. She spent her childhood in the South, her adulthood in the West, and now enjoys retirement in the Southwest, living in Silver City.