A childhood spent cornering chickens,
escaped from the safety of their pen,
against brush and the barn’s corners,
letting them discover entrapment
before I grabbed their tails, pulled them
towards me, folded wings under an arm;
they always panicked until I put my hands
over their eyes, soothed them with darkness.
Once, as the chickens scratched in the dirt,
a hawk swooped over the nearby hill—
his arched wings glistened gold-brown,
his legs stretched, his claws reached out,
in one long glissade he lifted a fat hen,
glided upwards, was gone. I watched,
so caught by that dancer, his intent—
the slow waltz of pursuer and pursued.