by Tony Larson


Part 5

A red-tailed hawk would slide into our canyon every night at dusk, and we would stand at the hem of our backyard, imagining it was a misty quay, the bird delivering us messages from another land, or maybe just admiring the skill it utilized in devouring it's grass snake dinner.

From above the edge of our canyon, looking behind us, we could see the plexiglass fence containing the Brownell's backyard. There was still a maroon smudge on the east end of the clear wall where once a speeding bird flew unknowingly into it's demise, it's small eyes never focusing in on the clues that it indeed wasn't an unobstructed airway.

The hawk would never do that.

Hank.

That was the name he'd been given. His pace depicted the feeling we had in the summertime, and his inherent coolness despite the heat kept him with us for years.

One July a massive fire blackened the hills of our canyon and spun all of the Mexican migrant workers who lived out there into a horrific panic. Some of them became part of the black hills.

We never saw Hank again after that day.

He had other ports to tend to.


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