Raven in Residence, Megan Roth

From her December residency here at The Writer’s Room:

Raven in Residence

My dear skinny blackbird,
with your expectant bill and inky coat,
I see you scouting those fresh crumbs,
playing it people-watch cool on the wicker-back chair.
You eye the crisp artisan toast
smeared in chicken liver pâté, hopping
past three cafes to The Betsy, where toast
comes speckled with sea salt and sweet butter.

And as you scan the charter bus puttering from Starbucks,
Your marbled eye pivots toward a mustang GT at the valet –
He in a fresh shave and muscles,
She in a red sundress and Frappuccino curves.
I know what you’re thinking as she wiggles to the sidewalk:
The Almond Brioche French Toast.

As the waiter flags two menus, plants fresh mugs,
the cook has just begun to dip thick bread into frothy egg.
You spin in zeal, as buttery dust fies from her napkin.
And when, in a carb haze, you spot the calm Westie lady
with her circus tent of leashes,
you snatch a Splenda packet and zoom beachward,
because soon, nannies will march strollers down Ocean
like snackdusters, trails of graham crackers trickling behind,
their scarves whipping in chuckles of ocean air,
colorful fats padding the warm concrete.

When you return to The Betsy for a rooftop nap,
the chefs will push dough and gruyere into breathy ovens,
hopeful saxophones will plume from the bar.
You will stare across the palms at the Atlantic,
rippled like cake, a hazy ship dipped in its surface.
My dear blackbird, I will join you on deck
to bask in the stucco-baking sun,
and I will leave you a crumb from my popover,
a sliver of lime, and a poem for your time.

Megan Roth