THE COOPER’S HAWK
by Emily Black
I look up through a tall window
by my desk and see a huge white hawk
perched on a winter-bare branch of our
Crepe Myrtle tree. A female, I’m thinking,
because she’s so big.
I motion to my husband, Come here,
I whisper. We grab our phones and start
photographing her, expecting her to fly off
any moment. She stays motionless, like
a regal queen on her throne.
We take a closer look. She isn’t white exactly.
It’s like the upper part of her puffy white breast
has been dusted lightly with russet-colored blush.
Not interested in going back to our work,
we continue to watch. She is stone still. I notice
that squirrels who would normally be digging
in my pansy bed beneath her perching place
are nowhere to be seen, nor are the little chipmunks
who usually dash up and down our stone steps.
Spellbound, we wait, not believing how patiently
she sits so still. I listen to my husband’s breathing
and sigh at how quiet it is as we wait to see what
will happen next. At last her wings open and she
takes flight. We run to our front door and out
into bright sunlight. She soars over our lawn,
shrieking her hawk call, then disappears into
a distant magnolia tree.
Her call rings out again and proclaims
her magnificent presence, her regal claim
on creation. “Warrior of Truth,” Native Americans
called her. They believed that seeing a hawk
with white feathers announced that a miracle
We leave morning’s sunshine, exchange glances
and quietly take up our tasks once more,
but we know a miracle has occurred.
A winged deity paid us a visit and stirred our hearts
with Nature’s deep abiding passion for life.
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