Two weeks ago, three weeks early, he said goodbye.
A day after the incident –
Pale streak of feathers with talons, outstretched and efficient
Tangle of cries and silence caught within deer netting and ripening tomatoes
The scene unfolding beyond the bay windows, as, unwilling, I observed and thought (disjointedly) of Casablanca, the words re-working in my head
“Of all the birds, in all the yards, in all the world – the hawk has taken mine”
As I thought (unkindly), while running from the house in futile effort, of the multitude of House Sparrows whose numbers could bear thinning, my cries of negation to stop, avert, reverse the course of events and pluck those yellow claws from that small gray breast and separate the two – Little hawk (Sharp Shinned? Coopers? he will not tell me) from Gray Catbird – to unwind time and heal the wound…
Above me, despite me, beyond my reach and will and pleas, Little hawk wheeled away with his prize – young parent to this year’s only fledgling.
The burning bush, previously a-shiver with activity, is still.
The pergola, with its unrestrained clematis vines, remains empty.
The container of raisins sits on the counter, untouched, unshared.
Two weeks ago, three weeks early, he said goodbye —
my small avian friend of untold years —
A day after the incident.
Next year, next spring — so far off —
will reveal if he’ll return
— C.Birde, 9/18