Claire Keyes
The Wisdom of Crows

A nurse tapes my wedding ring to my finger.
So it won't come loose, she says,
but I know it's something more suspect

and recall my aunt in the nursing home, her rings
lifted, counterfeits taking their place. And I know why
the nurse wears plastic gloves

before handling the syringe and taping the IV to my arm.
It drips sucrose and sedative into my purged body,
my curly intestine so clean the surgeon can snip a polyp

like a chrysanthemum or a tulip.
In the recovery room, I listen as hammers strike
walls, renovating. I prop myself up and watch crows

through tall windows. They glide from tree
to tree, bleak couriers of survival.
When this is over, I'll plant bulbs,

lusty green tips piercing the rim. I'll dig deep
and bury them, then pray for a long, cold winter,
a thick blanket of snow.