There's a chill in the air that
wasn't there a day ago, so
I guess it's time to put away
summer gear, to acknowledge
winter's here, or close enough
that warmer stuff is what I'll wear
when going out to feed the birds
each early morning.
My breath makes white clouds appear
about my face; air is filled with smells
of fireplaces and breakfasts cooking.
A dove above on slender naked limb
now leafless, is looking
at the sky - I suppose its eye keen
to see a Cooper's hawk descending
from on high, a silent swift attack
sending sparrow and finch, in panicked
flight, off in all directions.
Now the slender leafless branch dances
without a sound, an empty perch so stark.
The hunter found its mark, is gone
before I take another breath. Nothing left
of morning dove but fallen feathers
on the ground.
A sudden chill, a sunless sky.
Left mute, I fill the feeder box with seed, sigh,
turn and go back inside, aware that nature
knows what lives the day - what dies.