Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Architect of twigs and sorrow,
she nests in the oldest forests
below the tops of dying trees;
most of the eggs too soft to survive. 

Still, she builds up a brooding basket
decorated with a spray of pine.
In the egg cup, moss-mounds, feathers,
the heads of fish. 

Crouched on the branch,
conspicuous, she patiently eyes
the ocean that flows deftly
beneath her, the wide open wind. 

Born crying, an eaglet pips a hole
in the brittleness around it. Stripped
of its shell, it feeds and it feeds,
asks for nothing more. 

This poem is a reprint from The Tracks We Leave by Barbara Helfgott Hyett.