The Answer to Your Question is, “Wired Like the Taxidermy Wing
Of a hawk in mimic of cleaving, I drove toward Jackson to grab lunch and coffee with friends at a municipal airport’s restaurant lounge. Passed a red tail in the center ditch flailing, body transverse, great wing-breadth flexing, unfurling, and falling like a fan in the slow August heat. I imagined the writhing hawk as much as I could all the way down that white shoulder line. I had said something hurtful to my wife that morning and I have long suspected those sharp-witted birds could teach us of pain, each demonstration perverse plucking the passerine midflight and feasting. I lunched with David and Amanda and watched the runway which was mostly dead that Monday afternoon, but we did speak of the precariousness of the lone helicopter as it lifted and nosed forward, tail tipping 45 degrees. They must be treacherous. I have this sense that they frequently crash, and this has been said of marriages in prose both pseudo-psychological and grandiloquent, yet crows have been found holding funerals at roadsides and certain raptors mate for life. It is easy to label animal grief, while its expression lames us— mannequin impressions of how the great birds look in flight; from that airport lounge there was nothing on the tarmac to compare it to. Helicopter heading north to an estate, propeller slicing a blurred halo out of air.”
Cal Freeman is the author of the book Brother of Leaving (Marick Press) and the chapbook Heard Among the Windbreak (Eyewear Publishing, London). His writing has appeared in many journals including Passages North, New Orleans Review, The Cortland Review, Southword, and The Manchester Review. He has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and creative nonfiction. He has also been nominated for Best of the Net and Best American Poetry. His book, Fight Songs, is forthcoming from Eyewear Publishing in October 2017. He currently lives in Dearborn, Michigan, and teaches at Oakland University.