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Tag Archives: roof

found poem: I was living

found poem: the roof

found poem: I am


crows on the roofOn the roof, the crows are discussing breakfast. This involves a great deal of emphatic cawing and flapping as well as heavy-bodied hopping — small hammer-blows that thump throughout the house.

The crows live in the neighborhood year-round and the roof doesn’t change, but these visits seem seasonal. A few times each spring, they abandon their preoccupation with the sky, with the squirrels and robins, with the neighbor’s lawn and the entertainments of stolen peanuts and chicken bones, to dance here, overhead.

The skylight is a frustration. They scratch and peck at it, trying again and again to climb its slick dome. They are busy up there, defending and arguing over a morsel, hopping away then returning to claw at the skylight and peer down at me with my craning camera.

P.S.: Nearly an hour has passed since the crows arrived and they are still on the roof, doing whatever they do, occasionally adding the cacophany of claws-on-metal-stove-vent to their orchestrations.

At night…

the roof…


rooflineTypical for its vintage but atypical for the neighborhood (and the climate), my house has a flat roof. For the passing gulls, crows, squirrels and cats, this presents an expansive parkland — a vantage, rest stop, conference center, dance floor.

From inside, I hear the crows and gulls arguing, the thud of their heavy, hopping bodies and the echo of small feet thumping across the roof. After dark, a cat launches itself onto the fence and from there onto the roof, then gallops the perimeter. In a mad-flung circuit from tree to tree, a squirrel makes a daring and speedy traverse of the roof edge.

A raucous squawking and hammering draws me into the covered patio, where a skylight is covered with a sheet of glass. A pair of frustrated crows peck madly at the glass to get a bug that flits safely on the other side. The crows are ruffled, persistent, dogged in their certainty that the next peck will deliver a morsel.

Last night, I awakened around 2 from a vivid and unremembered dream to the familiar thump of small feet above my head. A lot of feet. Rising more fully to consciousness, I realized it was not critters, but rain — huge, hard, widely-spaced drops hammering onto the roof in what might have been the sound of hundreds of scampering squirrels. The sound was so unusual, I had to get up and look out the window to make sure it wasn’t hail. But outside, the patio was freckled only with rain and the squirrels hunkered silent wherever it is they sleep.

Another fifteen minutes of intermittent rain punctuated by lightning and thunder from a not-very-close electrical storm (the second in a week) and I too was hunkered back into silent sleep.

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