by Theodora Goss
On the fence sat three ravens.
The first was the raven of night,
whose wings spread over the evening.
On his wings were stars, and in his beak
he carried the crescent moon.
The second was the raven of death,
who eats human hearts. He regarded me
sideways, as birds do. Shoo, I said.
Fly away, old scavenger. I’m not ready
to go with you. Not yet.
The third was my beloved,
who had taken the form of a raven.
Come to me, I said,
when darkness falls, although
I’m afraid you too
will eat my heart.
(The illustration is by Arthur Rackham, for the ballad “Twa Corbies.” This poem was published in my poetry collection Songs for Ophelia.)