The crows stayed North for the winter this year. In the past they’d fly down South like retirees; Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, warm places. Tells me there’s a change in the air. The climate is changing. Soon North’ll be South and life will change too.

He used to watch em out on the telephone wires from his window in the kitchen. They sat there. Crowing. Making noises.

He’d scrounge ’round week old bread and throw it on the ground. Different types, rye, wheat, some white used for tuna fish sandwiches. The crows would eat it up. Swooping down to the ground for their Thanksgiving feast. He’d laugh as he looked at em. Glad he could give something to nature.

Birds. He never really studied em that much. Not like his wife did; using binoculars to catch their every move. She’s the one that got him interested in birds after she died. Before that he never really paid attention.

She’d come home from the library with these books on birds; finches, woodpeckers, plain old pigeons. She read up on em in the evening time while he watched the evening news. She used to sit there on the plastic covered couch and read ’bout em til it was time for bed. He’d be snoring away. The older woman would wake him to let him know it was time. Always kissed him on the forehead goodnight. His eyes were shut.

The old man never noticed the little things. Like the fact she was losing weight, becoming frail, more tired. He thought it was just her getting older. They were both getting older. And, one day she told him. Said there was something wrong with her. She said she didn’t wanna go to the doctor. Said she knew it was time for her to migrate. And in a short time she did. Her last breath was ’round this time last year. He held her in his arms.

So, he took up bird watching. Reminded him of her. Things she used to do. Things he didn’t pay attention to. Maybe it was guilt.

The crows stayed North this winter.

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