The Hawk Dreams of Walking
These feet, useless for anything
except killing and rending--
and clutching—had lost their claws.
flattened, and my wings shriveled
to flaps. I dropped from the nest
and landed upright on my new feet.
I took one step, another.
Suddenly I was running
and leaping through the field.
My tail was still broad and strong;
the wind lifted it and I was almost
flying. I chased and caught a snake,
gutted it, ate everything inside.
I raced rabbits, won two out
of five, and forgot to kill and eat
them. The sun was sinking now,
the air growing colder. I thought
of my nest somewhere far behind
and inaccessible even if I could
find it. I scraped together some twigs
and feathers in the dirt under a tree,
settled in and slept. When I woke
I was in my nest, dawn, early light
shimmering on the frosted grass below.
I wondered what it would be like
to walk on that crusted ground,
and then I heard steps crunching,
a hunter and his dog heading for the river,
and I knew. I knew.
Gregory Luce is the author of five books of poems, including Riff & Improvisations, from Kelsay Books, and has published widely in print and online. In addition to poetry, he writes a monthly column of the arts for Scene4 Magazine. Retired from National Geographic, he is a volunteer tutor/writing instructor for 826DC. He lives in Arlington, VA, but his heart is divided between Texas and D.C.
Uncovered logs from the distant past and the future beyond.