Summer mornings I'd watch as he
of wing and tapered tail, royal and rust,
and early morning swoops over field and lawn
dive-bombed my not-so-innocent cat -
shoulders hunched, eyes averted
whose tail, raised in supposed surrender,
would suddenly twist and paw for the arial acrobat
always just out of reach.
Even spied my little lion, quivering, chattering,
balancing on barn's wooden beams, eyes fixated
on unattainable little mud cup plastered to the wall
where five little nestlings precariously perched,
tipping, swaying at nest's edge
seemingly willing to offer themselves up
any minute with a vertical fall.
A few found fate's end
flat and lifeless as a preserved flower
between the pages of a book -
their press a dirt floor and a horse's hoof.
As my cat aged (and wizened)
he in my lap and I reading a book,
we'd let evening tide tuck us in beneath shadowed porch,
tangerine sky settling in, and watch the skimming aces
frolic after winged insects, their kvik, kvik, wit, wit
joining mid-summer's lullaby.
by Margaret Bednar, June 30, 2016