Today I watched a crow with too much
time on its hands steal feathers

from a hawk’s golden haunches,
just for the hell of it, stalking

suburban streets whose trees
soak up aspirations from vision

boards of college students, roots
nourished by dregs of unfinished

dreams. The thick bark reminds me
of Dr. Phil’s hands, groping our

subconscious like a smooth toll booth
operator, the back of his bald head

shiny as a lit-up map where you can
find every recorded act

of human decency
and I don’t mean to brag

but I once spent the day
watching over a tuft of tilled earth

where a turtle had laid her eggs,
right in the middle of a busy walkway.

Maybe she was distracted or had a lot
on her plate, but goddamnit,

she got the job done, squeezing
out each leathery wet egg.

After she scuttled off
into the marsh behind a Wendy’s

I stood watch over the fresh mound
and sang to the embryos, brand new

in their woozy shells. I procured
some chalk and drew a pink heart

around the site, writing
in big letter: Caution,

Fragile Life Here —
which is what I say to strangers

when my aura gets dim
and I need an extra layer

of protection to steady me
through the day’s unraveling reels

of atrocities. I’ll point
to my chest and remember

how joy survives,
humming through the cracks

of accidental grace,
making a home out of nothing.

Kendra DeColo