I was born with a beautiful hawk on my hand,
With wings of the wind and with feathers of fire,
With eyes of eternity, ageless as ice,
And the gift of a grip like the dawn of desire.
I have lived with that luminous hawk on my hand,
With its aching ambition and numinous need,
With its heart-breaking hunger and heavenly hopes,
And the weight of the world in the shape of its seed.
I shall die with that mystical hawk on my hand,
With its secrets unspoken and tales untold,
With its grasp on my gauntlet as I slip this land,
And its heart in a heaven my song cannot hold.
By Jonathan Steffen
First published in Acumen 61, May 2008