FLASH MEMORY: my grandpa had a crow!
At least that’s what I remember, I think. I think I’m sure I do.
I remember being 5 or 6 years old. Coming in from a hot summer’s day, running up the red porch steps of his house and past the broken screen door with the holes in the mesh and into the kitchen to find it there, large and black and so alive, staring out from its wire cage which had been placed on top of the counter by the sink.
I remember its giant wings. Its sharp beak and the way its back sloped smoothly down toward its ragged tail feathers. Its sacred black eyes, blacker than black. My grandpa standing next to it, watching it with his one remaining eye.
Why did my grandfather have a crow? How long had he had it? What was he going to do with it?
Answers elude. Companionship? Husbandry? Admiration?
Or something else.
A day? A week? A month?
I can’t say.
And what indeed.
Grandma was there too, standing at the stove across from the sink, the crow, my grandpa. Standing with her back to me making soup, giant daikon sectioned neatly on her cutting-board.
Grandpa, Grandma, Crow. Sink, Stove. Wire Cage, Cutting-board. I stared at all three – at everything – burning the scene into my mind. No one said a word.
The crow beat its wings inside the cage.
I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this memory, only its intensity, or what I like to think of as its tactile veracity. The truth behind the facts.
I don’t want to know if it is real or not. I want neither to confirm or deny but rather to indulge, let the image sit as it sits and shine or fall, fade or endure as it will.
My grandpa had a crow, with giant wings and eyes blacker than black. There was soup on the stove and sliced daikon arranged in neat piles on the cutting-board.
I can’t remember what my grandma looks like, not from memory.