©Beth Surdut 2018
Fill a paper bag with a branch dressed in dry leaves.
Shake the bag hard, vigorously
That’s the sound of death wrestling with innocence.
On a day where heat drags at you like a demanding child,
The tree flapped and rustled
Leaves so dense, I saw only movement and the shadow of death in flight
I opened the tall wooden gate and walked into the alley
over the shed from the bamboo
And the African sumac
And the tamarisk
and the dove feathers.
This is where the hawks bring their kill.
I heard the wingbeats
Saw the Cooper’s hawk fly away
without the baby dove's wing.
|White-winged dove, killed two days before its sibling fledged|
I returned to the tree
Where the mother and remaining baby huddled
The next day, the father joined them
And the day after that
The nest was empty.
|White-winged dove nesting in a tamarisk tree--drawing by Beth Surdut|