the first morning he tried to crow
the sounds he made were not unlike
the sucking of mud on old boots
as the marsh tries to claim your sole.
on the second morning, his crow
was more a murmur, the rustling
of a thousand tiny fiddlers
racing against the rising tide.
by week's end, it was a confident crow,
loud and strong, the commander of his flock
but unformed, uninformed, as symmetric
as a sponge, clinging to the floating docks.
it trembled, the crow, his conflict
was the pride in his voice, stubborn,
and the fate of the cockerel,
silence, not seaside metaphor.
so he crowed, a cadence to dawn,
summoning the sun from slumber,
rising, by his order, above
the barrier islands, his throne.
there was no crow on his final morning.
from his roost he was roused, before daybreak,
and strung by his feet from a crooked oar,
his voice bleeding into the sand.