A large hawk lands on a bough
and begins cleaning her feathers.
First the right wing then the left.
When finished, she remains
on the blue awning of pine
and inhales the wind. Its breath
a mix of balsam and snow melt
that has been trickling
throughout the mountains.
What lasts and what dissolves
in the veins of tree or rock.
I like to think of the day
as that raptor settling down
and plucking any stress from her plumage
of hours. And then with her, we rest
watching dusk branch into shadows. The light
echoing a candle’s strength
as we retain the closeness
we’ve always shared, shaped into love
and relinquish those songs
that have been sung
so intensely into our routine. our nerves left
(briefly) as splintered glass.