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Leaving Hawk Mountain

ISSUE:  Summer 2006

I longed to teach the child
the pinheaded oscillating glide
of the turkey buzzard,
nimble serene accipiter,
chunky-tailed spiraling buteo
and scissoring merlin,
osprey lofted like a spark,
bold V of a harrier
locking the dusk

and I wanted her to mimic them
with key mistakes, running in circles
until she tripped and lay looking up
at the first faint stars
and I could comfort her.

But that was long ago.

Square stems of wild mint
rattled in the breeze
from the river of stones.

The hummingbird had built a nest
of thimbleweed and down
and let it fill with pollen.

A last busload of families
surged past me, Kodaks poised,
children balking and preening,
eyes bright and oblique,
solemn rapt father
explaining the night sky.


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