Northern Goshawk


So distant from their coniferous forests
or the scattered subsistence farms
where winter strikes like stone,
a pair of goshawks has come to hunt squirrels
among the granite markers of this cemetery.
They do not belong here
anymore than my wife does;
they too far south, she
far too young for this snowy grave.

There are no grouse here to feed
such large accipiters, they never
penetrate so deeply into the suburbs.
Like these hunters I survey winter’s wreckage:
the shattered branches brought down
by too much ice, headstones heaved crooked
by two feet of frost. I recite prayers for the dead
while a blue jay screams from the windbreak
and will not fly.


Northern Goshawk

James Deahl was born in Pittsburgh during 1945. He lives in Sarnia with the writer Norma West Linder. He is the author of twenty-three literary titles, the four most recent being: Two Paths Through The Seasons (with Norma West Linder, 2014), North Point (2012), Rooms The Wind Makes (2012), and North Of Belleville (with Richard M. Grove, 2012). He is the father of Sarah, Simone, and Shona.
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