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Fierce Healing

the falcon bagged, subdued,
its broken wing
its doom if not for
man kindness

blinded by a leather cap
that clamped fierce beak
terror greater than its pain, it trembled
awaiting killing stroke

cringing from the smell
of ether, unable to flee
it knew not the wing set
or stolen time

cap removed, wing stiff, it glared
lifted as it could its shoulder
dragging a splint

confined in walls
it stabbed proffered nuggets
dipped still water in a bowl
not running, yet fresh

lulled by exhaustion
and the absence of imminent
warnings of danger
it slept

awoke in quiet — no hum, no buzz,
no twitter, screech or song
odd, unsettling respite
again it slept

days without hunting, yet
nourished, sheltered
it eyed the man who came
with soft words and food

lifting shoulder, strutting now
standing proud in silence
it eyed the man
and gathered strength

spread, lifted, lowered wings in stirring
glide across the room
alit upon his shoulder
beak sharp beside his eye

unmoving, but not unmoved
they waited, neither hunter nor prey
man understanding falcon’s silent
cry freedom

Forest Grove

In an inconvenient corner of the world
elephants languished
beside their dying lake.

Long ago, before the drought,
they’d trumpeted joyously from its depths,
spouting fountains as they swam.
They’d wallowed in its muddy shore,
before the drought dragged on.

Now they milled, gently prodding
an infant conceived
when the lake shimmered vast.

Urgently they willed her to rise,
impelled by their need
to seek life-sustaining water.

She could not.

Finally, heads bowed,
they turned away
so the herd
would not perish from the earth.
She watched, silent.

One turned back
to lie down beside her infant.