Stowaway On a Cloud

A short poem about grieving the loss of my dad in my life and the crow that helps me alleviate this pain

All too often I look up and see him there
 peering down through the oak leaves,
 a stowaway from a cloud.

Around the yard he follows me
like a young child with his father,
 a keen eye on my every move.

He sees my life:
 the ring placed on my finger,
 my wife’s, a month after he left;
 the grandchildren he never met,
 the house I call home.

That’s what I pretend sometimes at least,
 whatever gets me through the day,
 and today of all days.

To everyone else, he’s just a crow:
 a loud nuisance per reputation,
 a symbol of death, a bird to shoo away.

They don’t see the beauty in his black feathers;
 the curiosity of his ways,
 His capacity for quiet that of a sage.

They don’t hear the clicks and coos,
 only the harsh caws;
 never the rattles, whispers, and wahs.

I call him Mr. Jones.

stowaway crow in a tree

Mr. Jones

Photo of Mr. Jones the crow. This particular crow visits me every day. More than a few times a day actually. You may think I sound crazy. That’s okay. You may also wonder how I can recognize an individual crow. Once you establish a bond with a crow, you no longer wonder that. They act as a collective, but are very individual in their voices and habits.

P.S. They also can identify individual human faces.

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated,, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.