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HURT HAWKS, by         Recitation by Author     Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder
Last Line: Before it was quite unsheathed from reality
Subject(s): Birds; Death - Animals; Euthanasia; Hawks


I
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
II
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
But the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance.
I released him, he flew up; he was a superb
Master of life and death. When he flew
The wild noise of the airplanes blacked him out.
I could not see if the was in a circle or a straight line,
I could not even see him the binoculars, disappearing
Flick white against the sky. I do not know
What became of him, perhaps he is still
Soaring somewhere, or perhaps he fell and with the others
And with his limp talons gathered himself
Fell feet first, his wingspan used himself up at last,
Fell, and his power went out midair and left him tumbling,
Spinstering
Upon that hill; I do not know.






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