Green Hills Literary Lantern



Black Bird



It’s not often you see a crow

In our thin, shadowy canyon.


Maybe he liked flying in and out of the light,

While his comrades flapped along the ridgetops.


Mornings, he would strut along our flat roof,

Pecking at the skylight, peering in with the weak sun.


He was willing to alight on a shoulder or an arm.

The heads of passing drivers would turn.


Many dislike or are terrified of crows

For their history of feeding on the dead.


Our neighbor gardened stooped over,

The black crow pacing her back.



Claudia Putnam lives in western Colorado. Her work appears in over 25 journals, including Confrontation, Cimarron Review, Roanoke Review, Adirondack Review, and Literary Mama. The 2011-2012 George Bennett Fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy, she’s also had a Ragdale Foundation Fellowship. For research, she’s raised a kid, taught writing at the University of Colorado, marketed software, and spent a lot of time in the outdoors.