Objects in a Field

by Gary Hardaway

The crows, blue-black and iridescent in
the bright, mid-morning sun, glean
the fallow field, pecking at the last
of the seeds and insects feeding on
the remnants left by the last mowing
a month ago. The dormant grasses, short
and brown, crouch a few inches above

this sliver of prairie surrounded, on the east,
by freeway, on the north by an urgent care
doc in the box, on the west by garden apartments,
and on the south by this Kia dealership.
A pair of wary squirrels scratch and sniff
a short scamper from the creek-bank undergrowth
that arcs from north-northwest to south-southwest

along the field's edge. The squirrels know
enough of crows to understand that they
will take their meat still breathing in a sudden
act of social cooperation.
Cacophony of an engine-braking eighteen-wheeler
scatters the crows to fences, trees and wires
in a startling chant of caw, caw, caw.