Forest Dirge

A plaintive
mournful sound
A feeble rising
tone slowly
repeating
well down the
wooded path
I had found
So compelling
I was drawn
to discover
what manner
of bird
could be
heard emoting
such a call
So stalking
ever so slowly
I made my way
closer and closer
to the unseen source
silent as a jungle cat
until distracted
by the crash of a
large bird launching
from a high perch
above me something
dropping heavily onto
the dead carpet
of leaves below
as I watched
him go
Regaining my
composure I
moved closer
to examine what
had fallen to find
that which remains
of a squirrel after
a red-tail hawk has dined –
only a tail with a flap
of skin attached and
while contemplating
this surprise from over
my left shoulder that
same sad cry came again
Turning
I saw a
small squirrel
hugging tightly
to a limb
his butt
tucked up
against
the trunk
of the tree
and he continued
to repeat
that piteous
heartbreaking
refrain as
I watched

breathless
to bear witness
to something
so sacred
So unexpected
as a young squirrel
mourning the death
of one of its own

Author: OdinsBard

Writer, author, Navy vet, musician, intermittent mystic, old soul and practicing poet

17 thoughts on “Forest Dirge”

      1. Yes, it certainly fits! I’ve never encountered that sound before or since, and to see the “why” at the same time was really moving/powerful. I have never forgotten it – it’s been about 5 or 6 years ago now.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. They surely do. My legal middle name is “Rising Hawk,” given to me by an Apache elder. I’m not Native American, but he counted me as his spiritual “twin.” The mourning was very profound. I’ve never heard it again

      Liked by 1 person

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