along the edge of the woods
the red-shoulder sits
waiting for a noisy skitter
of cottontail or squirrel.
He shiver-shakes snowflakes off his back
pulling one foot up
into warm belly down,
slowly settling every feather back into place.
I admire this bird
living by his wits, patience, and killing skill
through afternoons of wet snow, rain
and nights cold enough to crack trees.
Make it through this winter
and let me hear you
screaming keee-yah! keee-yah!
right into the the sun's face.
Then I'll know that spring has finally come
and another winter has passed.