Friday, January 20, 2006

Watched like a hawk
Walking to school earlier this week I came upon a hawk. He was sitting on a fence alongside the sidewalk atop a tangle of bare clematis. He was eye level with me. I stopped three or feet from him, startled. He looked at me, or looked me over, I thought. I was wearing a scarlet beret and I wondered if I looked like something edible. He sat there long enough for me to study his mottled brown coloring so I could identify him: red tail? red shoulder? His beak was hooked and sharp and his talons also looked fit for hunting. I opened my mouth and out came a little laugh or throat clearing and he spread his big wings and flew away with an audible swoosh of air. It felt like a visitation. Wild birds don't do this: ca ne se fait pas. I always thought my totem was different. This hawk was an observer. Bold yet not aggressive. Both of us stood our ground.

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