The trees twist against themselves, turning away
from the bare toward the green—the dormant median
spouts a single cluster of butter-yellow daffodils,
and again, I find myself along this roadside.

All winter, birds of prey have sailed
through this landscape, dark wings coasting
along wild currents. Scouring the fields,
they seek the small and the moving among the dead.

This time last year, a farmer found thirteen bald eagles
on his farm, all dead—wings splayed like criminals
the Romans once crucified. NPR tells me that oddly,
the ancients had no word for it, the color blue;

except for the sky, they found so little of it
in their natural world that even Homer spoke
of the sea as wine dark. Last night’s rain has churned
the Narrows a muddied brown and this morning

the Chesapeake unhinges like an oyster before me.
Here, wave crests upon wave. Here, wind is little more
than stiff gusts and bluster with not a bird in sight, not even
a single black-tipped gull. Unaware, I’m edging

into the great steel cage that separates east from west,
country from city, shore from shore. Once more,
I attempt to bridge this distance. Scientists say
that until we have a way to describe something,

we may not even be aware of it. I recently read
that the eagles bore no obvious signs of trauma,
as if one day they tired of flying,
and just slipped and fell.

 

 

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