Friday, June 26, 2009

Shared Moment

Winding my way home from the mail shed
a hawk flew over,
landing on a nearby branch.
I stopped to watch.

With a monocular I keep in the car for
“just in case” moments,
I tried to get
A closer look.

The view through the lens, with its tiny opening,
seemed to even block the soft summer breeze
that ruffled
one small feather.

Discarding the optics, I watched in silence.
Its back was to me
but I’m sure it was aware
of my presence.

Large dark bands across its tail meant it was
a Red Shouldered Hawk,
Buteo lineatuc,
found in these woods.

Suddenly, a single shot was fired
we both jumped,
my arms and its wings
spreading in alarm.

The majesty dissolved as it hunkered down
its proud head bowed.
I was embarrassed by this deed
from my kind.

The reddish orange breast lit up like a flame,
as it turned and fled
into the afternoon sun.
I drove on home.

We shared a moment, seconds of fear.
We have probably shared
other moments –
last night’s lightning storm.

Or that winter when the snow melted
then refroze so solid
I could walk on the surface
and not sink.

We were not aware of each other then,
as we went about our daily lives,
we were not

When I see a Red Shouldered Hawk
soaring above or calling
“keeyar, keeyar, keeyar” –
I will wonder,

“Is that my hawk? Is that the hawk I saw
along the road home?”
just the thought of seeing it again,
makes me smile.


Trillium said...

Thank you for posting this. I felt like I was right there with you and the red-tailed hawk. The verses slowed things down and lent a quality of mindful intimacy. Please read at next PVNWG!

Trillium said...

Whoops I meant red shouldered hawk. I love the gradual shading of emotions through the poem, with the abrupt peak of alarm at the gun shot.