The Crows and the Witches and the Window

by on Oct 2, 2012 in Poetry | 3 comments

by Rachel Swirsky


I’m probably going to die

at midnight.


Don’t worry—

I’ll set the timer on the coffee pot

before I go.


The crows will be up with me

and the witches.

I’ll watch them through the window

and they’ll watch me back.


I’ll crack the window

so I can smell

stew simmering in cauldrons.

I’ll give some thought

to how it might taste—

boiled lizard eyes

& toad brains

& fingernails of newt.


You’ll be asleep

but that’s okay.

The crows will bob their heads

in time to your snoring.


This morning, a witch came to our door.

She didn’t seem gloating or gleeful

or even wicked.

Not much.


She had a card with my name on it.

She gave it to me.

She tipped her black hat

and went back down the drive.


We thought you might want to know,

the card said.

Don’t worry too much.

It happens to everyone.


Maybe the witch had cast

a calming spell on the card

because I’m not concerned

about dying.


I’m ready to settle in with the crows

and smell the boiling hummingbird’s feet.

I’m ready to leave you with a clean oven

and coffee ready in the pot.


I’ll miss you

but I suspect the crows

will keep us up to date.

They talk to the dead, I think.

They must be watching something

with those keen, staring eyes.


More from Rachel Swirsky:

Rachel Swirsky Photo

Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop where she supplemented her graduate studies with a life course on learning how to survive being inundated by snow. She’s published a number of poems in magazines and anthologies, including Mothering Magazine, Sybil’s Garage, and Electric Velocipede. Many of her poems are also included in Through the Drowsy Dark, a slim collection of Swirsky’s feminist short stories and poetry from Aqueduct Press.


  1. This is marvelous. I love a poem with narrative, and this one is intriguing in a quietly sinister way.

  2. Sono davvero infatti sinceramente grati alla titolare di sito web The Crows and the Witches and the Window | Apex Magazine,che ha condiviso questa grande fantastico pezzo di scrittura alle qui .

  3. Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, thanks . “Shared joys make a friend, not shared sufferings.” by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.


  1. If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love | Apex Magazine - […] The Crows and the Witches and the Window […]

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