Saturday Poem

Burren Falcon

Roused, she unpleats her feathers in the wind,
shakes her head, takes a quick shit, unloading
before flight. The sky pours hunting inks of colour:
pupils enlarge, fill the eye’s pool. Mountain,
dolmen, ferns, hem the low outcrops where
ascent begins again. She escapes the falconer’s arm,
outward though not half far enough,
her senses mewl for mice, chicks, newborn lambs
with sweet eyes and succulent hearts. Erect
with desire, her feathers flatten, she is scattershot
in the sky’s skin, blood-charged as she lunges
where limestone encloses the mountain’s
lungs. She tears on to a little death, beak
like a hooked needle, finally threading flesh.

by Mary O'Donnell

from The Ark Builders
Publisher: Arc Publications, Todmorden, 2009