The hawk sits on the pole and watches. He survives on his patience and the eyes that see all. The north wind blows through his feathers. The two are as one. He listens to the wind as it speaks nature’s words. And the wind listens to the hawk when it speaks from the trees and the sky. But right now the hawk is listening to all things. He is watching all things, for he is on the hunt. After time the hawk sees his prey in the distance. A small bird is flying solo heading east toward a farmhouse. The hawk springs from the pole with its wings out he dives after the small bird. With tremendous power in his wings he gains on the bird in seconds. The little bird’s instincts start flashing red flags in his soul. Death is approaching he can feel it in his bones. He sees his only hope ahead, a red barn. The hawk swoops down for the kill, but the young bird is wise for its age. The hawk gets closer and lunges with its talons. Right before the talon’s sink into the small bird’s body he turns right and goes through the slats in the fence before the barn. The hawk has to slow and glide over the fence. The maneuver works as the bird darts into the darkness of the barn. The hawk turns to the left and leaves the bird to live another day. He is wise to, he will not go into the barn. He flies back to the pole and waits again.

Daily I drive down the country road to the place I work. And daily I see the hawk
sitting up on the pole looking out into the field. He never looks at the road or the vehicles going by. Only out into the fields. He never sits near the cornfields or the high vegetation. He sits where the spaces are wide-open. He is one of God’s awesome creations. Nothing can hurt him except man. I drive by and I’m in awe of his strong beauty. A week or so later after work I put the waders on and fish the river with my brother. We pack it up early and there’s still another hour of daylight left. I drive down the road that leads to work, but now I’m heading home. In the distance I see the hawk flying from the field and landing on the telephone pole. I have my camera with me on this night. I want to get a good picture of this hawk. Across the street from the pole I see an old dirt road that leads to a worn down weathered barn. I pull in and park the truck and grab my camera and get out. I walk to the road and look both ways, there is no traffic for miles. He turns and watches me now as I’m on the other side of the road. I am making him nerves being this close. But I didn’t think of that until later. All I cared about was getting close and getting some pictures.

I slowly cross the street to the pole. He started screeching looking down at me from the top of the tall pole. I thought to myself “this is so cool.” I pulled the camera up to my eye and just started clicking away. He screeches louder at me this time and with a quick burst he flies to the next telephone pole. As he flew by I held the shutter
Button down to get as many pictures as I could. I ran across the street and jumped into my truck and drove to the next telephone pole. With still no traffic in sight I stop in the middle of the road. Hanging out of the drivers’ side window I point the camera up at him. I pull the camera from my face and the hawk and me look eye to eye. I realize I’m looking at one of God’s awesome creations. In his eyes I was the power of his greatness. Then he started screeching at me again. But this time I heard great pain in his powerful voice. He looked down at me and screeched his loudest this time. He opened his wings and flew off toward the west into the sunset. I pulled away and was at first in awe at what had just happened. But I also pulled away with great guilt in my heart. I realized I have just invaded his space and his hunting grounds. He was telling me I was not welcome, that I need to leave. But I did not listen, I only thought of my own personal gain. I never thought once of his loss. As I drove down that country road back to town I put the camera back in the bag. The next day I looked at all the pictures of the hawk. I deleted them all and knew it was the right thing to do.

To this day I still think of the hawk and our short meeting. In the mornings and evenings I see hawks on the poles. I sometimes wonder if he is one of the hawks up there. I am a little wiser now because of the hawk. I think to myself how wise is that hawk? Then I remember his piercing eyes. And his voice that reaches into the heart. I know he is one of the wisest animals created by God.

Wayne Roe