In the home improvement store parking lot,
red-tailed hawk swoops, lands
on a light standard. He’s young,
feathers still scruffy with unshed down.
He folds in his wings, settles in for a rest,
pays no attention to the mockingbird
whose perch he’s just invaded, not caring
that this small bird could be his next meal.
The mockingbird cares greatly. Recognizing
his ancient enemy, he uses his fluency
in bird speak to curse the hawk. He begins
his war dance, flaring wings and tail, hopping
He takes flight, somersaults over the hawk,
circling him again and again, singing melodic
insults, always out of reach of beak and talon.
The hawk takes no notice. He sits there, suffers
the abuse, ignores the scrappy small bird
on the attack. Who knows if David won,
or if Goliath just got bored. In the end,
the hawk, no longer looking young or scruffy,
spreads his wings, lets the air carry him away,
leaves the mockingbird alone
to dance his victory.