Metamorphosis: A Crown of Crow Feathers
If the children we raise were
songbirds, wide-eyed speckled songbirds,
then it would be a different story. We would keep them in our palms,
heartbeats gently pulsing, fingers soothing all nervous feathers. We would
teach them ancestral songs—those chords, those tones, all light and all hush.
We would keep them in motherly cages, forged
with eternity in mind.
But the children we’re raising, their bones are hollow and vast:
they are crows,
crows who are meant to fly with each other, meant for
something greater than us. They are the children of the sun, bright
and blinding, divine oracles and messengers of Apollo, dripping
omens from their tongues and stuffing prayers into their marrows.
They are crows who choose to wreath themselves with barbed laurels,
a crown of thorns, willing to carry the burdens of history
and its relics, soaring alongside Death, bargaining for one future after the next.
Because one-by-one, they molt from songbirds to crows, clutching scales and swords,
singing justice instead of songs.
Because eons from today,
our children will make bitter poetry and hard prose, they will carve
a golden record for the world to listen to and to absolve, concatenating
the sounds of love and the music of our souls, etching the songs
that we taught them into the histories of tomorrow. a new dawn howling, the wind will
remember our verses; the earth, our runes—all for centuries and millennia to come.
So, if our children were
crows, fluttering, impatient, heroic crows, they would
live our stories, garble the same omens, wear the same bleeding crests, and
soar the same paths we did, all those years past, Once so long ago.
About the Author
Laura Ma is a high school writer from California. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the Pollux Journal, Juven, The Bitchin' Kitsch, The Aurora Journal, and elsewhere. Obsessed with alternate universes, she loves imagining the what-could've-been. At midnight, you can find her exploring aesthetics and wishing that it would rain. She tweets @goldenhr3 on Twitter.