by Jane Mary Curran

I am Raven,
covered in night,
a blue black shape beneath the pine,
my rich heavy body
hungry, watching

possums, deer, birdlings, rats.
Their eyes do not see.
Their hearts do not beat.
I tear their cold flesh
and pick their bones clean.
I take them in,
the life in their meat.

I bite at fading white mist in the air,
the lingering fog of their daemons' breath.
I take in the life of their traveling souls,
a feast of union there on the road.

With one great stroke of my blue black wings
fog and souls disperse. I fly
above the road, beyond the pine,
filled and strong.

I rise.

Jane Mary Curran is a poet and spiritual director, living in Asheville, North Carolina. She lived her first life as a pianist and college professor; her second as a chaplain at hospice. Now in the third third of life, she returns to poetry for the essential stuff of living, fewer words, and greater soul.

About Communion—This poem was written in Yosemite National Park where ravens line the roads each morning, seeking sustenance.