Kestrels

I love kestrels (aka Sparrow Hawks). It’s a kind of small falcon that I always seem to see during the autumn. I saw one today, so I dug out this old poem I wrote years ago.

Context

I’ve never seen a kestrel
Anywhere but on a telephone line
Surveying some farmer’s field.

They wouldn’t make sense
Among the dogwoods
Guarding a tattered river valley.

Before the wires and roadsides
The kestrels clawed the face of chaos
But they were less than broken.

The hunt was different then-
Not for voles in well-ordered rows
Or the sleeping clothesline sparrow

But something hidden in slow time
Less clumsy than nature
Whispering the threat of perfection.

The fields have no whispers now.
At the angular core of Ohio’s autumn
One shrill voice rings like laughter.

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