Red-tailed Hawks

There are two red-tailed hawks in the air over campus. You can hear them as you walk through the Pine Grove – their screams enough to make even the most paltry autumn mysterious again. You catch your breath, you stop, you turn your gaze to the top of the highest maple, and you watch them dance with the rays of the afternoon sun. Gold on feathers, on glancing talons, on open-beaked defiance. Gold shivering to fractured radiance by their piercing call, reflected off the brilliance of the changing leaves. And somehow your world, that had fallen into shadows and worry and regrets, is raised with the intake of your breath to unblemished, holy joy.

Later you walk with a friend through the trembling light of early, rain-washed evening. There is a cry, and suddenly the great birds are plummeting. They soar, swoop down, fly low over the grass and frighten a group of girls walking by. They grace the rigidity of a building’s brick eaves – momentary statues carven of power, fluid and fatal. Confident in their authority. And then off again, chasing down the wind, a languid leap from building to tree, hidden in the pine boughs, grasping the thick branches with a strength that is too easy. Disturbing the bright-stained leaves of a young maple nearby with the beaten wind of their passing. You spread your coat and sit in the damp grass, you and the sister of your soul, your faces turned up together towards the haughty poise of these creatures so high above you in so many ways. The hawks cry and you lean together, two children still caught up in the wonder of the thing, of the ageless beauty you have discovered. The hawks cry, and you hear in their voices the echo of Faerie.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. grannyandpoppy says:

    Beautiful description. I’ll think of that the next time I see a hawk flying. Talked to your sister today. She seems happy and contented. Not too busy yet. I think she still has some free time. Sounds like she is going to take on a lot of reading. We called to wish your Dad a Happy Birthday. I think they were out for dinner. We sang a birthday song for him. Poppy and I still plodding along. Keeping busy, trying to stay out of trouble. Love Granny


  2. vtgrandview says:

    I want to see… time take your camera along….I want to see….
    Kai and I still walk in the woods across the street…..Pileated Woodpeckers fuss as Kai thrashes through the woods scaring them from their perch. The startled Ruffed Grouse beats the air like a drumstick keeping rhythm with wings on air, and little Chick-a-dees scold as we pass……..


  3. joctavianr says:

    While the grammar nazi in my soul winced once or twice on this one, the description is lovely. I wis that I could capture the emotions of an observer through description the way you do. And I love how you meld the fantastic and the observable at the end.


    1. AnnaEstelle says:

      Why thank you, Mr. Grammar Nazi.
      Sorry. I’m out of practice. ;)



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