[from Muddy Prints, Water Shine]
Next to a Carolina highway,
face ringed like an owl’s in white feathers,
the northern harrier stands in the gusts of September.
Dark wings, down-turned beak, staring eyes,
a folded tail, speckled thighs.
The drivers are blind
to the pale bib concealing
the span of muscles tied to a breastbone’s keel,
muscles quiet, resting toward the moment
when the bird flies.