To Fly

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Written in December 2003.

The peregrine
is trying to fly

Wings flap in vain
up and down and up
to catch the wind, but
yellow talons remain curled about a borrowed perch
because although one wing stretches out
whole, unmarred
the other ends in a clump of feathers
cut off far too short
useless half a wing.

So even though she reaches for the sky
Sharp eyes staring wild to wind and sun and clouds
She doesn’t leap forward into air
– she seems to know she’s bound to earth

It’s no wonder she refuses my offering
limp clump of soft bone and yellow down
dead before it left the egg.
She remembers flight
and freedom
soaring the thermals, silent skyshadow
dark eyes catching every tiny motion far below
wings folding, curved beak aiming down
torpedo aimed unerring for the target
space roaring, screaming in her ears
280 miles per hour straight down…
and talons wrap around the prey
warm and newly killed and hers.

Then the sun pushes aside the clouds
and the crisscross of wire mesh
imprisons us both in shadow
once more.


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