Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 15 . . .

The Mockingbird and The Eagle

     poem by Rae Spencer

Photos prove the mockingbird's attack
How it flew again and again, at an eagle

Half-eaglet, too young to see how size
Should make a difference

Frame after frame
Of confused eagle and flash

Of skinny leg and white-barred wing
Against a backdrop of green

Unlikelier yet, that it happened on a golf course
The quiet place of conflict

Where I might have heard the mockingbird
Choose from its repertoire

Of cardinal and wren, robin and jay
Perhaps a few phrases from each

Or, in desperation, its own tongue
Untainted by purloined notes

Except I wasn't there
And the photographer had to leave

And we’ll never know if the eagle relented
Lurched away from its rail-fence perch

And flew high, high as only eagles fly
Mocking the smaller bird’s flight

Its low flutter and spite
With a shrill raptor cry, defiant

As youth, insolence learned
From a mockingbird, with no respect

For the curved carrion beak
And fisted talon, for the tale

That the writer steals into words
Because she often dreams in birds

Waking to the itch of feather
And repetition

Her own ancestral song
Forgotten in her throat

Rae Spencer is a writer and veterinarian living in Virginia. Her poetry has been published in The Powhatan Review, The Healing Muse, Bolts of Silk,  Chaffin Journal, and vox poetica.

© 2009 Rae Spencer & L. Todd Spencer

Behind the photos:

Mockingbird vs. eagle in Williamsburg

     art by L. Todd Spencer 2009. Photo essay.