An Understanding

by Martin Elster

A dog flies at the flock, which mounts the air
like a huge, blaring, squawking herbivore
in search of forage. A great thunder-roar
emerges from below. Amid the glare
of winter sun as red as a ruby eye,
they catch sight of what seems to be a hawk
in silhouette. It rushes at the flock
tornado-like and wipes them from the sky.

Out of that sky the Airbus starts to drop,
its matching maws now choked and gorged with feather
and flesh. Sadly, there is no magic tether
from hawk to heaven to make its swan dive stop.
A cymbal clash proclaims a brutal landing
as man and bird come to an understanding.

Martin Elster, author of There’s a Dog in the Heavens! is also a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poems appear regularly in Yankee Dog and Pennons of Pegasus, and have most recently appeared in The Chimaera, The Flea, Lucid Rhythms, and Umbrella.
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Published 16 March 2010