Peltier (chough)

Ever since a Crow built her nest
on a perimeter fence
birds are forbidden to dance
the Ghost Dance

She came to Alcatraz
and inspired a character
Eastwood commercialized
on 35 mm

Present in the poems of Trudel
she shouldered empire with the Bellecourts
Banks and Means read Deloria
whispered like Badlands to Peltier

These men knew what General Jackson knew
that if it wasn’t for Crow
New Orleans would have burned to cinders
no rag tag band of rebels would ever have rallied to his epaulettes
they were drawn by the black-as-pitch of her feathers

But where is Crow now
she’s come down with COVID
ever the symptomatic carrier
isn’t Corvid the root word of this bug
ailing the jailers

They won’t move Leonard
to a room with a view
because their aim is true

And Crow is just a chough
interloper Chinese foreigner
Peltier a wandering Jew.

Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in London, Ontario. New work is appearing this fall in So It Goes, The Journal of Expressive Writing, Unlikely Stories, Chiron Review, Boog City, Bewildering Stories, and Ginosko Review. Read other articles by Jeremy Nathan.