Consider the cleverness of the Cooper’s hawk
who glides disguised the upslope of the roof,
crests the ridge, and dives on pigeons
perched at the feeder hanging from the eave next door:
the crash and sway, the spilling of seeds,
the prey pinned against the box,
the futile flap of wings
as talons sink in, and the predator
rises above the roofline, bundle compacted,
elevating toward hungry chicks hidden away
in a nest new-found since the city sawed down
the elm that canopied the park, a disease in its heart.
Pestilence and predation invert the arc;
the cycle turns on the wings of a hawk.