When cars approach at ten over, ten under,
I think: stay with the carrion at this edible
consistency or do my flap-away-and-wait?
The zoom is monotonous, all buzz and swoosh,
a rhythm I live with, my murder and me.
And I’ve heard we’re confused for starlings,
for grackles, though how? No speckles. No
iridescent heads. We’re bigger, more mythical.
Some say majestic! Maybe, from a distance,
but on the fat branch of this fencerow mulberry
it’s merely watch and wait. Some dull days
I never stretch my wings, just hop from crotch
to pavement and back again, and back again,
a little bluish viscera streaming from my beak.
You’d never know it but the hawk’s no bigger.
The search light of his shadow casting those
wide circles over roadways, over fields means
he’ll soon have live meat. Me, I get what
gets itself hit. Then in between I doze and dream
I’m small enough to ride a bowing cattail, slurring
a scratchy terrr-eee, an oak-a-lee. Flashing
my red and yellow chevrons, luminescent
in the summer sun, I’m catching someone’s eye.