Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hawk Poems

Steve's post below with hawk-infused poetry brought another poem to mind. It's by one of my favorites, Georgia native David Bottoms, and it appears in the most recent edition of LSU's famed literary journal, The Southern Review. Enjoy!

Old Man and Neighborhood Hawk

Vague silhouette, like an idea
forming, then a shiver on the pine branch and the hawk takes shape.

It props against twilight to scrutinize the yard, the hedges
and flower beds smudged into gray pools.

My old man, elbow on his walker, stares from a kitchen chair.

The hawk rolls his head, probes hedge, patio, monkey grass,
rhododendrons heavy with black blossoms, trellis of roses.

The old man noses the window, his caught breath clouding the pane.

Something has grabbed an eye, some old impulse
trembling down the nerves. On the bar of the walker his hand trembles.

Then a dive from the branch, a bursting under brush,
and up the hawk rises on wing slashes, pine straw, flurry of leaves—

over lawn, fence, street, dragging through streetlight
something pale and squirming—

and my old man’s hand flapping toward the window
falls again to his knee.

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