A crooked man, roughly
pushing a grocery cart up a country hill
comes to a halt—regards his plastic bags
of soda cans—squints at the distance yet to go.
Brittle these February fields
he thinks. Feeling a shadow pass
he glances up and sees a hawk,
wings stiff and tilted holding it aloft
in sly currents—felt but unseen.
The man kicks an unaligned wheel
on the cart. He hocks a gob and spits
it on the road. Above, the solo hawk
cuts through the gorgeous blue like
shears slicing silk.
The raptor's eyes scan the field's
earth clods and straw, then
with the single purpose to devour,
lock fiercely on some creature far below.
The man, seeing the power of un-whetted hunger,
for a moment is afraid and ducks his head.
The hawk snatches something
from the ground, flaps off
though unabridged acres
of azure, through bolts of topaz billowing
like full parachutes of Persian silk.
Some bloody mess that soon will be
the bent man snarls, stumbling against
his rusty Safeway cart—The whole world's
shit is what I think—but if he could
he might have thought
Should not this glory, flung with such abandon
over steep roads and ragged hills, this grandiosity
throw over my twisted shoulders, this bounty
swirling round raptors that lack song, should not
this natural wealth cause pauper and hawk
homeless and predator to sing?
The prey? There was no thought
for what he could not think.