A falcon swoops and lands in my garden

its sharp talons struggle to gain purchase

on the black plastic water tank. It looks

momentarily confused, perhaps

a song sparrow escaped with all its feathers.


I witness the merlin’s endearing vulnerability

as he perches regally, composed as a cat

that had missed

the mark


Like any considerate host, I act

as if he was expected, and

unwittingly say

that he is welcome to his full of finches.


Oh how quickly I toss my feathered friendships

at the appearance of this intriguing stranger

his dark hood and proud speckled chest,

hooked bill with tomial tooth designed to snap

cervical vertebrae and rip warm flesh . . .

how it suits his handsome face!


The instant our eyes meet

I tumble from the sky

plummet like prey


but he kills

our conversation by lifting

wings to vanish as fast as he appeared.


The garden is no longer the same

and the finches eye me dubiously.