The other day, while the freezing winds
swatted starlings from ground to air
and from here to there, I spied a hawk
in a tree next to the interstate.
Along the way, I saw five more, morose,
hunched in shadow-scanning readiness to strafe
some shivering prey. I thought this quite odd,
seeing six hawks in one day. All kept
to their own solitary company. Like me.
Now those starlings, they group in a murmuration,
humming wings oozing their number
through the air like some feathered amoeba.
But a collection of hawks is called a Boil or a Kettle.
A poetic birder thought they resembled
something swirling in a cauldron as they circled
above, riding earth’s warm exhalations.
I think they are more like me, who perches
in this chair, stoop-shouldered, searching
for the shadow of a word to poke its head
into the sunlight of this lamp. Today,
when I found no prey upon which to swoop
with rapacious intent, I thought of those
shivering raptors with their tails of red,
like this poet, with his eyes to match.
We carve a line from the city to Halfmoon.
We Scribe of hawks.