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. HamptonRoads.tv.