The Eagles


The morning was filled with winter sunlight, and

Cold, cold, but warming moment by moment,

So that by the time the man got down from the top of the levee,

His jacket was ready to be shed.


But this is not about the man:

It is about the eagle and its nest.

The eagleís nest was an inverted pyramid

Made of sticks in the fork of a cottonwood

Between the levee and the river. 

The eagle, proud and magnificent,

Was sitting on a naked branch eighty yards away. 


The eagle turned from time to time.

The view toward the river showed one barge in motion,

Churning down the great river, basking in sunlight,

Taking wheat or coal or sundry stuff

Down to New Orleans and the world, and

Tied up to the near bank, another barge,

Its role in this morning drama undisclosed, but

There were men moving about upon its crowded deck.


The view toward the levee, road, showed one man standing,

Steadying himself to steady his camera,

Aiming at the eagle and then at the nest,

Capturing repeatedly the image of eagle and nest,

Capturing repeatedly the image of the young eagleís head,

Capturing repeatedly the great eagleís proud grace.


The eagle could not see or know the manís heart,

Which was filled with joy.


--January 21, 2013