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The Hawk

The hawk sits on the phone wire

like he owns the world.

I call my son over and we watch him from the window

our necks craned up so that we feel small

and he, enormous.

His face is blocked by an

intersection of wires, his cream chest

dappled, puffed out at the top

then sloping inward

close to his feet.

Last summer a hawk was in the middle of the road.

I called my son over then, too

before seeing the grey fluff below his grasp

and desiring for my son to look away.

But why, his look said as I tried to pry him from the window,

not questioning, as children don’t, the necessity

of the natural world.

So I let him watch.

The neighborhood children ran to the bird then and

he flew away, leaving this wretched bunny

pulling itself along the ground. Awful.

I called to my husband to end the horrible

suffering. The children were gawking at the rabbit

as crowds do around a tragedy.

If only they could have known to let the hawk


My husband bent low over the creature and shooed

the children away, who would not understand.

My son watched, I am sure, as his father drew

a crimson line with a hunting knife.

My son and I wonder if this hawk, perching now on the wire

is the same hawk we saw before.

It could be, you never know.

We don’t begrudge him anything

even now.

A cursed creation curses.

Instead I imagine him groaning, thanking God

for his meals

looking sharp-eyed toward the horizon

as if he can already see the goodness

of a new creation.


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