Above a stretch of buffalo grass
a Rough-legged Hawk sits in the wind.
The snow has blown in west-north-west
but it seems to come straight out of Wyoming,
hard enough that he beats his wings
only now and then,
over a colony of prairie dogs,
over deer mice,
over small skittering birds.
He is used to the weather.
They breed far north, in the arctic,
and this spring in Colorado
with the warmth coming on
and the dormant grass greening,
the dry blowing snow of the high plains
is a perfect comma:
the ground is awake,
the sudden squall has caught prey
neither low nor about,
neither resting nor vigilant,
and he can wait here,
all day, untired,
head to the wind.