A quiet I thought I was a part of:
tea-steam rising and touching my face,
a book in my lap, words rising like mist
from a cataract of print,
quail scratching up corn to music,
the sun amortizing a hollyhock.
Then my windows banged and shook.
I saw the hawk’s dive conclude,
quail like flying semicolons.
Four lay dead on the grass.
One sat dazed until I touched her
then launched into wobbly flight over the garden.
Outside my window the world
had been reading a different story.
Joseph Powell is a retired English professor who taught at Central Washington University, and his most recent collection of poetry, A Preamble to the Afterlife, was published by Marchstreet Press in 2012.