A high-pitched cry draws my gaze upward
through silhouettes of trees and dappled light.
I squint as some swift shadow blocks the sun,
to spy a hawk, with splay-wing sparrow clutched
in razor talons, gliding to a branch.
The hawk bends in, its beak to sparrow's breast;
plucked feathers flutter down, the sparrow's head
lands like a gruesome acorn at my feet.
Satisfied, the hawk drops towards the ground
and then, with mighty stroke of wings, ascends.
A breeze plays softly through dry leaves
that cling and swirl upon their slender stems.
And in the thicket, birds begin to call;
the sun still shines, the day is cold and clear.
Strange that world and wood remain unchanged
as if a life had not just ended here-
and death was not so palpable and near.
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