The sound of sleet
beating dried leaves
and melting on us.
It hits hard, then runs like rain.

We climb
to the top of tablerock hill,
a heavy snow just beginning.
“Look!”
Three strong downstrokes and she’s up –
broad wings, a short arc –
a hawk.

The air is thick
with snow.
Still, her wings held high
her sharp nose down
she pierces
smooth
through the gloom.

It’s all snow now –
there’s no sound but us.
Wings first, then body
she vanishes in the snow.