Annie finds a dead hawk, drops it in her backpack
knows the spirit is near since the body’s still warm
raises her arms like a winged warrior
ready to migrate with the untethered
and takes off to her house where
she preserves the bird’s remains
as carefully as any shaman.
Washes him bone by bone
chants how the spirit hovers seven days
till the body is set for the next journey
douses the quills in alcohol
stores his down in a cedar box.
Chella Courington _Southern Girl Gone Wrong_, Foothills Publishing, 2004.