On slow wings the marsh hawk is patrolling
possibility–soaring, sliding down almost to ground level,
twisting suddenly at something in the marsh hay or dune grass,
their autumnal colours snagging his eye
where he finds the slightest aberration, any stir
that isn’t the wind’s, and abruptly plunges on it.
that isn’t the wind’s, and abruptly plunges on it. Then,
if he’s lucky–and that scuttling minutiae of skin and innards,
its hot pulse hammering, isn’t–he will settle there
and take in what’s happened: severing the head first,
then ripping the bright red strings that keep the blood in check,
then eyes, gizzard, heart, and so to the bones, cracking
and snapping each one–that moved so swift and silent
and sure of itself, only a minute ago, in the sheltering grass.