Nasty Old Blackbird

This time his name is Archibald but in times past other names, equally cumbersome and ugly, have done.  He swoops in, alights on the left shoulder, seems to hover; it takes a couple hours or days before his heaviness is known.

He eats hope and energy.  He defecates a gray slime that covers every endeavor.  He’s noisy.  His caustic caw hurts; he insinuates, whispers, noxious things:

why bother, that’s old, it’s useless, stop trying

He renders the purest sounds– a child’s voice, a cat’s purr, a sweet melody– unbearable.

He advertises: “you’re worthless.”  He’s believable.

He makes sleep the drug of choice but dispenses four hours only, leaving swaths of time to ponder mistakes, regret choices, remember the faces of the dead, and weep.

Loathesome, bitter crow.  Fly away Archibald, you are not wanted here.