480 words
2 minutes

The Crow

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Once during a late-night hour, I lounged austere and sour
Mulling over a musical piece of unusual score
And when my eyes did close, I heard a cry of interpose
At which I arose, and looked to the offending door
Mused I then, “This strange noise I must explore.
This will be all, and nothing more.”

With pertinence do I recall, the walk through the silent hall
The many dwindling candles spread throughout the room
A vivid song of pearl did in my mind a-swirl
As a mask for my lost girl; my dear long lost Lenore!
The beauty who all humanity did adore
She who had departed, forevermore.

The door’s handle I did reach, but stay! I heard a screech
Muffled through the door’s ancient oak
And at this I was certain, that at pulling the curtain
A horrendous beast would surely show—
So I looked: but it was only a crow.
A dim-witted bird, and nothing more.

So I opened the ingress to confront the distress
But before my astonished eyes did lie
The crazy-winged floppings amidst the many bird droppings
And sprinkling feathers ‘round: wherefore
I lurched and sneezed with quite a roar!
Chaos, chaos, all the more!

Before I understood this mess, the crow flew in (with no finesse)
All sprawling and sideways it did impend
And when it came a-landing, I just stood there standing
“Most surely this has happened before;
Possibly in some sort of old folklore?
“Yes, a forgotten poem, and nothing more.”

There it perched on the bust, of some Greek-god I trust
Cocking its head in a doleful manner.
It looked grossly dull upon that decorated skull
And I waited for it to say a word or four
But standing there became quite a bore
Yet I stayed-just to make sure!

I watched as my soul grew quiet, I wanted it to talk like parrot.
For I know I missed a companion
Which got me thinking, and led my heart to sinking
On the figure of my lost damsel Lenore!
The one who was christened Lenore!
Reminiscing thus, and nothing more.

Amidst my unruly thought, I heard! I noticed! I caught!
A sound from the awkward bird of ebony
Intelligible at best, but still I obsessed!
“You have completed the chore!
Now just a word or two – I implore!”
A noise it made, but nothing more.

In place of wanted talk, it merely let out a squawk.
Awhile my malice was slowly building
“Speak! You dumb bird! I thought I heard
A word emit from your beak for sure!
I won’t give up: this means war!
“A permanent battle forevermore!”

At this the crow flinched, and so stiffly it clinched
That the bust which it sat cracked right to the ground.
With the bird in the air, and my gaze with its stare
We met eye-to-eye: that crow and I bore
The burden of unadulterated, painful eyesore
A pathetic staring contest, and nothing more.

As I grabbed a bat, I swung and I swat
I swirled and twirled and mingled and mired
Until the bird I did hit, and with its wing split
It flew out the window; right into the snow
So I closed the shades as I foreswore
To teach that crow nevermore!

The Crow
David V. Kimball
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