Kestrels are tiny falcons who live across a fair portion of the eastern United States. You can see them gliding on the wind over ridges and streaking through trees. Their diminutive size, blue-grey crests, bars on the chests, and incredible agility mark them.

Photo from Friends of Sherwood Island

A few years ago one darted across a forest road on Sand Mountain just ahead of me, a rodent in her claws. Her speed and nimbleness arrested me while I climbed the road on my bike. This poem comes from my love for them and the occasional need to write very simple poems with something of a traditional sound. “Kestrel” is about the fifth or sixth iteration of this poem since I first wrote it several months ago.


Honed in shot from the archer’s hand,
over cat tails hiding prey.

August flights like Martha Graham
on her greatest day.

Hunger’s truth and hollow-boned,
breast barred, face onyx-saucer eyed.

Her paths elude our senses
through branches’ maze she glides.


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