T H E   L E S S O N


Winged terror now sweeps over 

This grove of mango.

Hen scuttles under bush with its brood;

Then as he sees the significant shape



Top the tallest branch

Cock’s quick warning in the briefest call

Repeats and thrills

Deep instinct in the tiniest bird



In an attitude of a semi-fold of wings,

It pauses over the clearing

Watching one foolish bird

Not trusting its mother’s sense

Dash forth to find a securer shelter;



Falling from the air

As if it would strike the very earth,

It strikes the racing bird in mid-step

In a kill

And lifts unexpectedly

Even as the whole grove breaks;


Away it rises to the distant blue

Carrying one chicken with native skill

And a new dimension comes 

To the tender breasts

Where hens and cocks have formed anew

hawk and chick