Anser Journal

Baby hawks are crying

By Lita Kurth

“Mother! Father! Food!”
from on high, the bullet wing
explodes
returns through storm of crows
who dive too late
to save the limp black young
held in talons
upward out of reach

Still the black birds swoop and swarm
Revenge? Obsessive useless effort?
Or ignorance
of hopeless foregone end?

High in a fir both crows and hawk
settle to branches
close another uneasy day
Parents
feed their children
the children of their neighbors

Beware the afternoon
crows on concrete, gang in black
mockingbird mother and father
swoop in swift attack
Crow has stolen nestling in its beak
off he goes, triumphant, undeterred
by small distresses, small forays

Baby crows are crying
“Mother! Father! Food!”

Mockingbird valor fails.
Begin again with beetles
earthworms, fruit
another egg another cry
“Mother! Father! Food!”

Teacher and writer Lita Kurth, co-founder of Flash Fiction Forum, has published poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction and been nominated for multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net Awards.