Through the air high up above the graceful soarer weaves,
his shadow cast against the wall and stones and grass and leaves.
Without a modicum of sound, he drifts and circles ’round.
If those below detect him, it will not be by sound.
He seems to simply levitate, on wings lacking in motion,
betraying not one sign of his means of locomotion.
Below small dirt volcanoes betray presence of prey.
Small denizens of tunnels emerge from them each day.
Opting for the light after so many hours below,
darting back to safety when a human comes to mow,
they steal the seed corn, sheer the roots, consume the tender shoots.
As often as the mounds are pressed flat by heavy boots,
the next day there’s another to take each burrow’s place.
Always another obstacle for opponents to face.
What act is fair for man to take in thinning nature’s riches?
What will I do to rid my lot of undersurface ditches?
The neighbors mount a protest, asking for an end
to creatures that usurp their space, and still I do not bend.
But here there is a creature who merely by its will
has the means to swiftly dip and fall upon its kill.
When the Red-Tailed Hawk dips low, watching from above,
I shudder as the claws surround the vole’s form like a glove.
Wings flapping for the lift-off, caught in sun’s early ray,
the bird with prey in claw now lifts and opts to fly away.
Their shadow soars onto my lawn over the wall between,
the prey it’s holding as it lifts too tiny to be seen.
Nature will deal with nature. It needs no intervening.
It is a way that our world has to deal with its own gleaning.