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A wild claim

A winged predator landed in the broiler pen this morning,
radiating royalty.
He claimed the energy that had been captured
by fescue grass and fat red clover,
corn and soybeans,
and one bright-green long-horned grasshopper
who’d been climbing the stem of a broad-leafed plantain,
when gobbled by a gangly young cockerel.
Great hooked beak and clutching talons
took that young bird’s energy,
turning squawking chicken into hawk. 

It was all so quick and automatic.
A routine death,
it would have gone unnoticed
had it been a soft-furred cottontail
venturing too far from the nest.
But a wild claim in a domestic setting
complicates the simple truth
that all life lives for eventual death
and all flesh feeds another.
If not me,
the steel-eyed red-tailed hawk
I call my brother.

(Text and Photo: Bob Ernst)