Stone the Crows

by H.R. Woodsman

THE THING I want to do the most
is get up and throw stones at them crows.
They make so much noise
I just can't sleep
neither can the boys.
At least that's what I think.
We're a silent lot, I don't speak much
I think of the cost
. . . the nurses, their pills and their oils, but
the crows.
I think of my plan, the pain is so bad.
In she comes with her tray sets it down by the window, takes hold of my face and tips a plastic cup into my mouth, take these now, she says, its for the pain and to help you sleep. They want us drowsy and kept,
quiet
dull
not upset.
But the pain gets much worse and I think soon I'll do it. It's time for the cull.
When she looks back, it looks like I'm chewing
then she gives me some water, I swallow that fine.
When I think of my plan, my pills safe stored away, that auld water is wine.
I toast to the cave gods, the ones before this.
She trundles along the corridor, mopping up all the piss.
Her swish and her swoop
ain't as bad as them birds, them crowing conniving cawing out whores.
Taking that every morning is a too soon shroud.
It's the round and round of the hate and the damn and the hard and the now.
"A great clanging sound."
The terrible currency
the constancy
since learning to measure
how can it be that I can be better?
is spent.
I wasted it on things like them crows.
On wishing it was
with a sad face when it wasn't.
Them crows is the music
of the times that I couldn't.
I wink to the others; it's all right boys
it's just fine
I've got a plan to do away all that noise.
The unmoving cost of life's climb
is no choice.
The pain sets in and it's all I can do not to cry out what I plan to do.
I practice.
I work my arm when no one would notice.
I just need to throw far enough for their reach.
One day, there's a cake, we're allowed a piece each.
With the others all mulching, I pretend to eat
In the morning, I hear silence
then
the nurse is screaming, "they're dead, they're all dead"
I can hear her all right, and the pain ain't so bad
I've let it all out and I'm laughing like mad
Crows ain't screeching or hawking, or hanging off window sills
They're all laid out on the lawn, stoned on my cake stuffed with pills.

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