Monday, November 15, 2010

Why Hawks Should Replace Eagles as Our National Bird

Walking through a cornfield on a winter day,
Hearing the rasping scream of a hawk.
That screech is exactly how a raptor should sound.
Human feet cease crunching in the deep snow,
Listening for the beat of wings,
Waiting to see the swift outline cut the clear sky above.
It seems so unreal for such a huge being to float so effortlessly.

But as the sun shines thought long cinnamon feathers,
A huge hawk looms above.
As far as majesty goes in the animal kingdom,
Red tailed hawks are some of the grandest.
Buteo jamaicensis, broad wings and a rusty colored tail,
Flying slowly, in controlled swoops and loops.
Wings stretch from one end of the sky to the other.
Warm, smooth feathers that only he can preen
Cover the hollow bones of this Herculean bird.

The soaring circles become a steep dive into the dead woods,
Disappearing for now, he will not roam far.
There are his woods, his home.
It's amazing how he adapts to us.
Using our telephone poles as perches,
Overseeing the highways we speed to work on and
Plunging from skyscrapers, slicing between buildings.
His shrill cries go unheard by human ears.

Nature knows no limit when it comes to wonder.
Humans fly around the world in airplanes,
But we'll never be able to compare ourselves
To the natural overwhelming prowess,
The sheer power and grandeur,
Or the aeronautical dexterity
That is the flight of a hawk.

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