Dawn Crow Caw
I woke in the dark,
back of my skull pressed in my pillow,
watched darkness thin, day begin,
black sky turn pale grey, faint blue.
In our apartment bedroom,
shapes and shadows grew.
Became aware of the deep of dawn.
From it came the caw of crows.
Territories they claimed, I knew,
patch of rock and tree to perch and hunt.
Reminded me that Yerevan
stands in the vale of mount Ararat,
is a city built on the floor of bare mountain land.
Before humans came, crows cawed in the dawn,
lowered their heads, took flight, swooped on their prey.
The Ereboni fortress, they watched humans build,
a defence against foes.
Later, circle by circle, the stone city of Yerevan.
Now in parks and urban trees, I hear crows caw.
Crows have no brain for memory,
do not know their history,
but more than to humans,
who can only ever be intruders, migrants,
invaders, settlers, this valley belongs to them.
Dawn is deep, brief, like midnight or noon,
has its own magic.
I can remember, but cannot go back to when,
not long woken from sleep,
aware of the deep of dawn,
I heard crows caw,
a sound more ancient than hieroglyph or rune.