Sep 29, 2009

Devotion: Hawk

Written by Dennis Hinrichsen

Read by Stacy Kidd

I know spring by the hawk pinning down songbirds
in my neighbor’s yard,

the little Ophelias crying in their blown-away silks
that the sky

has lied, a hedge has lied.
Then the pool

of chaos — the hawk in clench and drill and
thresh.

How quickly the song goes out of them. The
aftermath, soft,

circular. A labyrinth in ruins
I let the wind blow through

for days.
And then the rain, its soaking drench. Sun.

On the back porch slab the arterial runs of worms
dried

to a beaten silver even the stars might envy.
The trails a Silk Road crawled

body and spice
to the far cities, moist domains. And so now I stand

and the moon hangs as bold
as talon.

The black teeth whisper — narrow seeds — as the column
fills. The dead are not my worry,

slave to song.
Finch: come back. Cardinal, wren.

That one bird on that one branch
like Coltrane

on a cylinder of smack.
From high in the stacks of the power plant

where it nests,
the hawk banks

the pollen-heroined air of the neighborhood, sifts for
sparrow, muscle and throat.

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