Silent bird of prey, your talons trap
the blameless, seize innocence, seed mistrust—

is it any wonder your shadow sows fear?

Still, summer rubs oil pastels across the sky.
Slanted rays reach sails on an iridescent lake.
Deep waves lap the bank, lull us to sleep.

Like smoke, you drift into consciousness, fray
families, splay loyalties, stiffen riven hearts—

which small, soft life will you target next?

Still, oak leaves sail along a crisp fall breeze.
Swallows swoop, loop-de-loop above lawns.
White horses race atop the chop toward shore.

Ruler of chaos, your claws shred shared history,
mortar memories with treachery—

how to make sense of your senseless waste?

Still, a valley wind whispers spring.
The pine bough cradling the cardinal’s nest
creaks. Hatchlings squeak for food.


Cora McCann Liderbach, from Lakewood, Ohio, is published in the Ohio Poetry Association’s journal, Common Threads; Quiet Diamonds, journal of The Orchard Street Press; Hole in the Head Review; OpenDoor Magazine; and Last Stanza Poetry Journal. Impostor Magazine also nominated one of her poems for Best of the Net.