Letter To Jeffers / The Gift
Rewritten . . . and thanks to Jim who "has seen too many miracles."
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk.
Robinson Jeffers, "The Hurt Hawks"
I learned my love of hawks from you, long before
I ever saw one; how it is their nature to come and go
As we stay, the arcs of their passages rippling farther
And deeper away over your cliffs or here like the long
Moments when stones fall from my stream's sheer
Slopes and sink slowly into the summer-still water,
But for three days now I have heard one hawk's cry
Unmoving from the same small hilly stand of oak
And evergreen, and walking this morning I find it
Perched on a low-leaning pine bough winter wind
And ice had bowed but could not break. And at
My coming its cry changes to something both more
And less than a hawk's usual defiant hunger,
Though all it can do is lurch to the next limb.
It is hurt in some way I cannot see and its fear
Is something it doesn't understand who has
Never known it before.
In the end, when
Your own hurt hawk had nothing left but unable
Misery you gave him the lead gift, and once I too,
Having learned from you, would have done no less.
But here and now, with all these years between us,
You ask of me a judgment I can no longer make,
Having come here then hurt too and having seen
Too many miracles not to believe that life is always
The possibility of healing, and death not mine to give.
Poetry by countryfog
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Written on 2013-08-01 at 19:35
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