The Raven and the Lineman
“…and I need you more than want you and I want you for all time…and the Wichita lineman is still on the line…”
–Jimmy Webb, Wichita Lineman
By Maurie Nord
“There! That creature stops below me!
Every day I see him
From my perch on high
His shining head bows down
Glistening rays of dazzling sun
As from the head of a
I call and call to ask him about mysteries
But he does not understand my speech
He walks with two of larger legs
He clasps together
A smaller pair
He bows his gleaming head then eats his food
Will he leave some there for me I wonder?
And I wonder what he knows of me?
Of my long curved bill and glider wings
Or of that monster bird who gleams as
Brightly as his head
Who has glider wings which glide and
Glide whose thunderous voice and breath
Can shake the very heavens
What does he know of a great bird
This mystery cousin?
What does he know?
This creature with the gleaming head
Who has no wings and cannot fly?
Yet he can climb oh yes
Like a squirrel can this creature climb!
He can reach my perch
Perhaps he can climb to the heavens!”
And climb he daily does
This lineman climbs the perch today
Of a raven who takes such great
Delight in scolding him or so it seems
The sun declines
The lineman prays
His work is done for six more days
….”You know I need a small vacation but it don’t look like rain….”
The 777’is well on its way
He leans against his truck and sighs
Beneath a starry sky that lives and moves
He asks and prays
“Are you really up there?
And what do you know of me?
What does the croaking raven say?
Are you really up there, beyond the stars
Oh Lord God of Elijah?”