Thursday, April 05, 2007

Poem: Close-up on a Sharp-Shinned Hawk by Don McKay

CLOSE-UP ON A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK

Concentrate upon her attributes:
the accipiter's short
roundish wings, streaked breast, talons fine
and slender as the x-ray of a baby's hand.
The eyes (yellow in this hatchling
later deepening to orange then
blood red) can spot
a sparrow at four hundred metres and impose
silence like an overwhelming noise
to which you must not listen.

Suddenly, if you're not careful, everything
goes celluloid and slow
and threatens to burn through and you
must focus quickly on the simple metal band around her leg
by which she's married to our need to know.



This poem is among those selected by Don McKay for his upcoming audio release with Rattling Books: Songs for the Songs of Birds.