I’ve never seen them so clearly ominous—
but what I mean is omen-ous—roosting
on a steel-eyed day, in a dead tree, like a perfect
cliché. A kettle, they’re called, when circling
but these are still, which makes them a venue.
At least nine, & one of them has spread
his wings to dry against the afternoon’s
wet blues. He seems about to launch, or else
the anchor of this gloom. They are silhouette,
hemmed & feathered line. Everyone on this street
is going to church tomorrow, he says as we drive
beneath. I’ll go, too, & keep my shoulders still,
eye out my congregation: is it brood, nest,
or congress—a venue for my darkness’s unrest?
CORRIE WILLIAMSON is the author of Sweet Husk, winner of the 2014 Perugia Press Prize and a finalist for the Library of Virginia Literary Award. Her poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, AGNI, Shenandoah, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. She lives in Helena, Montana, and teaches writing at Carroll College.