I’ll Fly Away

The crows are back.

Only this time, they are after more

than last night’s leftover dog kibble.

They are after me.

I see them in the trees.

Gathering by twos on the slope.

Watching me, watching them

from the comfort of my patio chair.

I am ready this time. Let them come,

flapping their glossy black wings that

never seem to protect anything.


Disney loved crows.

Those gawking







I am tired of tryin’

to forget the blackness

of things so I can fit.


So I can fit, I stand

poised and ready for the

big flapping bird coming

toward me. To warn, to

tell me a story, maybe to

gloat over my distress.


I am tired of feeling small

at all the wrong times; of being

afraid to write because I might

lose something or someone.


I am tired of worrying

that my people,

Black people,

might be in a state of

reverse evolution.


But I forgot.

I am not supposed to be Black anymore.

African-American is my new given name,

even though I know nothing of Africa.

I went to the Bahamas once. Funny,

how most of the men looked like my

father. My uncle. Does that make me a

Bahamian-American? And what about

my second great-grandfather?

Does his roots make me a

Black Irish-American in the

truest sense of the word?

Why can’t I just be

a plain old American-American,

without the cumbersome burden of

being branded with a name

that says nothing about me?

Nothing about my truth.


I don’t know.

And I don’t know why I’m crying.


So today, I am a colored Negro

cussin’ at the crows in the trees

who happen to be black like me.

Swooping down on me. Wanting

to eliminate me.


But when that crow finally reached me,

I grabbed it by the neck and forced a lit

cherry bomb down its throat. And waited.

Didn’t take long before it exploded. Only

it wasn’t a mass of blood and feathers

as I had expected.


A brilliant orange Bird of Paradise

with emerald green leaves emerged

from where the throat used to be.

What had been blood was now turning

into specks of gold and silver.

The Bird of Paradise landed right

at my feet, planting itself into

the earth as it plowed through the

concrete patio.


Not of this world, it seemed to say.

Not of this world.


Ignoring my presence, another crow

flew down to examine the plant. For

some unknown reason, I wanted nothing

more than to reach down and touch it.

It trembled as I moved closer, but did

not fly away. Fly, fly away, oh glory.


Stroking its head, I felt it relax

beneath my touch, wondering if that

is all I really am: A frightened little bird.


I want to fly like the crows

Fly, fly away, oh glory

I am not of this


not of this world.


HomeAll Stories
Previous StoryGo Now, Sleep