Mother’s Day Moment

After dinner and croquet
we sat happy, content
with ourselves
family and world
in the grey backyard
calm of twilight.

The whoosh and cries
came too sudden
for knowing–
the stillness broken
by necessity and
nature’s fact.

The cedar shattered
with absurd terror
as the hawk tore
a path to just one
unready sparrow.

He cleared the bush
in nano-seconds,
his unreal shriek
of triumph lifting
supper, arcing now
an indifferent sky,
the random babe
ripped out of
the only life it had
ever dumbly known.

‘What was that?’ we asked
‘hawk or merlin?’
But exactitude no
longer mattered
in that eerie birdless-hush,
as we turned once more
in private doubt, lost
for words, and resumed
our game of Scrabble.

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