Hawk Totem

by Jeanie Tomanek

The tinge of the red tail, oddly

clear from so far below.

Only a glimpse, yet it is her

spirit guardian, gliding,

closing circle upon circle.

She was once a raptor too, awl–eyed

breast fiercely full and certain of the prey.

Now hunter’s hood masks, jesses bind,

she perches, hobbled, blind, love thongs

obedience hold her fast.

Recalling slides on warm air columns,

she creeps encased in beetle armor,

red tail lights, stop signs mark

her path, measured my men’s clocks

as lost twin’s wingslice taunts.

Radio drumbeat summons tribal vision.

She dreams hollow–boned, reclaims

hooked beak, barred underbelly,

makes his wind carving wings,

wanton grace her own.

She molts tired flesh,

flexes steely talons.

Metal opens, glass rains out.

Hatched featherless, she rises, releases

a scream high and free as the diving hawk.