During a visit to Greer, Arizona, we played at River Reservoir, where I searched for the Osprey my sister had seen weeks before. The children canoed and fished for crayfish and napped on a quilt under the pines, while I scanned the sky. The tree-top nest stood tall in front of me, and I was not disappointed:
Osprey Brings a Snake for Her Crying Chick
on a barkless ponderosa snag
ascending the hill—
a lightning kill—
a nest of rough twigs tangled
in the crook of its crown
a beak rises
peaks out and over
scans from north to south to north again
and from that beak a hunger call:
cry cry cry cry cry cry cry—
then the long wait for the mother
and the regurgitated trout:
cry cry cry cry cry—
Here she comes!
swooping through pine tops
a snake slack with death dangling
from the ebony nails of her talons
Roger Baker is a municipal attorney, aspiring poet, and amateur naturalist. He is the author of Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road. The book tells the true life story of an obscure farm road and its power to transform the human heart. The book is available in print and for Kindle at Amazon. See Rabbit Lane reviewed in Words and Pictures.
This was a magical moment then, and also in its retelling.
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