The Hawk…

glides over treetops and rooftops, encroaching upon city limits, ignoring carefully crafted boundaries between civilization and nature as if there wasn’t a difference between the two at all. I don’t often notice its sorties into the realm of humanity, sweeping the sky with lyrical spirals over the town square. The hawk’s vigils become part of an otherworldly landscape as I dart around from meeting to meeting cocooned in my Civic. Even the name of my locomotion proclaims this isn’t a world for hawks.

So I was taken aback that day when I saw the hawk sitting on my backyard fence post, interruption of predatory beauty on a rather plain afternoon. I watched for a moment, appreciating this fine specimen of mother nature’s work. Then it bobbed it’s head toward it’s feet, gripped something in its fierce beak, and pulled. Feathers flew.

I didn’t see the chase, the defiant dive, or the strike. The chickadee, I’m sure, didn’t expect to be nourishment for it’s larger cousin when it rose with the sun singing its familiar song, fee-bee, fee-bee. Not long ago I started sleeping with my fan on so I wouldn’t be awoken by that morning call outside my window.

I was mesmerized as the hawk feasted. Life slows down in the midst of tragedy. Gawking at the mangled wreck in the opposite lanes, a long line of cars come to a crawl for no real reason, turning expressway into a misnomer, and I pause my day to watch the gruesome plucking of a small songbird. No wonder they call them hawks, those denizens of the Capitol that are so anxious for war, to rip apart the weak with talon and teeth at the slightest sign of offense or just because their poll numbers drooped a little this week, knowing, despite what we say, that the people respect power, not the underdog. Finally, I wrenched my gaze from the spectacle but later inspected the scene, a forensic scientist who happened to witness a crime in progress. There was no sign left of the hawk, only small feathers strewn beneath a fence post.

©2018 Kenneth W. Arthur