The bird is safest in its nest; O’er all that flutter their wings and fly A hawk is hovering in the sky; “Song” by Longfellow
I love each bird I see, the small sparrows in the bush and the grackles in grocery store parking lots but I never see them at home. I’m dissatisfied with those I love, which means dissatisfied with myself. I am not a bird. I am the hawk that hovers. Maybe, the hawk doesn’t see itself as dangerous until it sees its talons with blood on them. Maybe, I just want to be full instead of hungry and birdseed is not enough. A hawk has been chastised for killing something it could not finish as a meal. Birds ought to sing more, but the hawks are killing them and what is there left to sing for. When I miss my sister I sing, unlike a bird, and pretend that I am home but I am never sure where that would be. My sister, bird like, sings all the time, probably, and knows her home is not with me. I wonder if we’ve sung the same song at the same time and not known the other was singing. A bird’s heart is at least the size of my thumbnail though hawks’ hearts are most likely bigger and beat harder when their mouths water. If hawks have tongues at all I’m sure they use them as I do, to mock and pick at others through windows or when passing cars with friends in them or in photos where they’re worried they don’t look their best so they may as well look silly and unlovable. Hawks have been known to drown their prey because it is very hard to sing underwater and birds cannot see anything but what the hawk wants them to and this winter I asked my sister if I could visit her and she said that she understood I was having a hard time but she did not want me there.