The man left the hospital with his son. At home the boy practiced until he could walk on his new leg nearly as well as he had on his old one. Then his mother said, Time to get back to it. Those crows won’t shoot themselves. Outside the man stopped at the fence with his shotgun, while the boy walked on to his usual place in the field. The boy held up two long poles; to the end of each was tied the leathery carcass of a squirrel. After a while the fingers of the boy’s left hand grew numb. This time, he knew what to expect. When the numbness moved up his arm, slowly but steadily, he did not cry out to his father and scare away the crows that were now circling above him.




Mark Seidl lives with his family in New York’s Hudson Valley and works as a rare books librarian–the best job in the world! His poems have appeared in several print and online journals, including Cease, Cows, decomp, and the late-great Alice Blue Review.