Against metaphor

March 24, 2020

The hawk grips electric wire and waits,
his brown-feathered head as smooth as if
he’d slicked it back this morning with a comb,
the way his keen eyes part the bent weeds
in the run-off ditch beside the road.

He perches on the line, against the stretched spring
blue, like a metaphor ineffable and wide.
Is he the talon lurking from above that finally
rends us? Or the power that lives beside us, laboring
to lift us with unfolding wings?

Today, I want to see him as the hawk who waits on wires
that undulate along the roads that plow this prairie. See him
waiting, diving, circling in this nearly-violet blue. A day
where beauty’s irreducible, where nothing stands
for anything but this.