“Red-Tailed Hawk”

by Susanne Arrhenius

Over open fields
a black speck floats in bright silver,
a pupil widening on iris blue,
extending into full- fledged flight,
slow, undulating, circling.

He draws the sky about him
as he falls, loves the wind,
hidden for a moment
in the shining cloud of speed,
legs outstretched, makes landfall.

Passion and violence flushed from air,
small birds shrill their warnings
to the empty sky. He assumes
the stillness of a tree, fallen, tangled
on the rustling husks of summer grass.

He can touch the sky, pinions and talons,
while I stand human, heavy on my shadow.
But our ancient bond is a sharp breath,
the rush of a fall,
and a dazzling edge of fear.

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Great Egret
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