A Red-tailed Hawk

                        For H.G.

Buteo jamaicensis

Claws up through clouds

Dives from a thermal

Every spiral writing its name

Falconiformes its Order, Accipitridae, its Family

Gravity-defying, it soars alongside eagles

Habitually silent, it sits power poles

In silent observations as if passing

Judgement on the traffic below

Keeps its own counsel

Lives above the fray

Mates for life, and cares for its

Nestlings in a midwestern spring

Observes skitterings below and

Pounces on mice, snakes

Quickly ends their struggles

Rarely loses its prey

Swooping in with outstretched talons

To snatch the next meal, fill nestlings maws

Until they reach six weeks of age, in-

Variably wanting to test their

Wings the way, you too, will test

X-ing those boxes along the way

You will come into your own, fledge, fly

Zoom away into the sky, Hawk!