Once One Has a Face

Hawk, a red hawk,

Maybe the hawk we saved last year.

Hawk, our hawk,

Once one has a face,

They all do.

I killed the cat by pulling away too soon.

The day after I turned the corner north.

Just past the stop sign,

A red hawk, our hawk,

Picked at an animal

In the road

I could not name.

The road,

Rock pressed in

One direction

Easier,

But not,

Divisive.

If I,

Could,

I run

Over it.

The tires might make

The corpse go away

So that at least the unnamed known

Might be saved from itself,

Its hunger,

Its instinct

To stay

Where it is uninvited

If not by law,

By lack of.

In cool, late afternoon greys,

The corpse remains

Undisturbed

Unaccompanied.

Undivided.

Mangled tail and dark fur

Undusted by feathers.

“Where is your smallest shovel?” I ask my dad.

“You can’t stop on J. Take your life into your own hands.”

“No. I’ll have to walk.”

I don’t want advice.

I want a tool.

I walk.

The shovel taps.

“Do you need a ride?” says the car pulled over.

“No.”

“Not going to bury something are you?”

“No.”

I plunge through the moist furrows in the field.

I sweat.

I swing the shovel underneath the body.

I scrape blood over cracked black pavement.

If the hawk returns,

I don’t know it.

It may not be our hawk.

I may never have known it.

I’m sad I cannot save those who deserve it.

Hawk, a red hawk,

Maybe the hawk we saved last year.

Hawk, our hawk,

Circles around

Hovers above

Once one has a face,

They all do.

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