The cloudy morning light allowed a glimpse of gold

to shine from the hawk's belly

as it rose upward and toward the west.

It surfed the wind like the athlete it is,

so graceful that I uttered an involuntary cry of joy.


Suddenly it dove deep, feet first, into the tall blue spruce across the canyon in front of me,

then it rose toward the mountain behind.

A bluejay chased it in vain,

unable to retrieve what the hawk had carried away.

All this in seconds.


For a moment

I felt the terror and pain

of a parent or a wife,

the sorrow of joy as it comes and then is gone.

The hawk soared up the slope behind the tree.

It did not look back.


So willy-nilly this truth of life and death

This coming and going so quickly.

No matter if the life is that of a resting jay, a shining hawk or an old woman watching.


Beauty and tragedy intertwine --

being and then not --

all in a golden flash.

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