Jacob Lawrence, "Magic Man," 1958
Jacob Lawrence, Magic Man (1958)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

February 26, 2009:

Gunshots. Farmers are shooting crows.

Once upon a time there was a nest of crows in a tall tree overlooking the chicken coop. It was necessary to shoot them, I'm not sure why. Could be they were taking chicks from the coop. I pleaded with my grandfather to allow me to do it. I so badly wanted to shoot them. He refused, killing them all himself, one shot each, sadly but relentlessly. I was very disappointed.

I wonder now why he insisted it had to be him. Maybe he worried my shots would be imperfect, and the birds would suffer. Maybe he felt it was his own responsibility. Maybe he didn't want me to have the blood on my soul.

He was mysterious. He wouldn't answer questions. But he was warm and generous, and he loved my mother very much.