Mid-morning in mid-March.
The mournful doves everywhere
singing desire or sadness I don’t know which,
and the even more doleful grey hawk
at which all birds fall silent because of fear.
It chases away vultures, ravens, red-tail hawks.
The grey hawk wants all of the creek
land to sing the deaths of a hundred Irish poets
all by itself, this spring dirge
that haunts we humans by daylight.
So endlessly dolorous, this sweet death.•
© 2021 James T. Harrison Trust. Excerpted from Jim Harrison: Complete Poems, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press on October 26, 2021.
This poem appears in the Fall 2021 issue of Alta Journal.