Watching for Bald Eagles

I dreamed of finding dead birds —
the hens we lost last summer,
and our favorite rooster —
perfectly preserved in the snow
I was shoveling off the driveway.

I proceeded with caution,
more archaeologist than gravedigger,
uncertain of what lay beneath
each drifted form, probing
the outlines of the proximate future
in each measured spadeful.

Then I asked you what to do
with the newly uncovered fowl
but when I could not hear your response
I shouted, “I can’t hear you
when you turn away from me,”
and immediately felt so sorry
for raising my voice unnecessarily

that I woke up suddenly
and thought of all I had to do
with so many bodies to rebury,
so much blood and bone and feather.

I am on the road away from you,
watching for bald eagles.

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