I leap towards you, for you, my father,
off of this too soft earth toward your hard heaven
when you will whisper my true name to me,
tell me everything secret bound in the petals
I fly towards you, empty air below, snake
rocks ripping earth further down
and I gulp the air, lumps of it, fistfuls,
sprouting feathers with each silky taste
of sky, my beak widening
into hard yellow bone, pink tongue
thinning into a needle point.
I arrive where you are; you stroke my wings,
feed me mice that ease down my gullet.
I grip your forearm with my talons,
then you give me my name: Peregrine;
and I screech, I screech.
— by Paul Totah, July 13, 1997