The Day After the Election
I’ve just made another deposit on the house,
and I’m on my way back from the bank.
As I make my move to turn left from
Federal Highway onto Atlantic Boulevard,
a giant fluorescent green lizard leaps into my path.
I hit my brake. Others hit their brakes. Horns blare.
The creature leaps and thrashes, gyrates in the street,
discombobulated and disoriented,
searching for a way of escape through a maze of tires.
Two lanes over to my right, I see a guy on his knees
reaching under the rear of his car.
He pulls the writhing baby dinosaur out,
then jumps back in the front passenger seat.
While I’m still waiting for the green arrow,
the car passes on my right.
I see the lizard, (an iguana?) on his lap
looking out the window like a pet dog.
Now I’m thinking about the kindness of one,
what one guy risked to save something of another kind.
As I stroll up the path to our cottage
set in this serene little compound off a side street,
I see our cat perched in the window.
I smile, remembering how he scared us the other
night by hiding in the back of the closet.
We spent an hour and a half searching outside.
I wanted to kill him then.
I wonder… would someone would have
risked their life to save him if they’d found him
frightened and confused in a strange place.
I don’t see the hawk two feet in front of me
next to the brick path until I startle it,
and it flaps upward to a branch above me,
talons grasping its prey–a mourning dove, perhaps?
I watch for a long time while it tears into flesh.
Feathers flutter onto the cottage,
bits of bone plunk the roof,
and tumble down like hail.
I’m helpless to save, and I think
this, though, is the nature of a hawk—
to devour its own kind.
I took 130 photos. I’ve spared you the graphic ones. You’re welcome.