I pull distracted into the lot —
Plash through the sooty snow.
When I uncoil from the rental car
A bald eagle glides across blue firs
Splays its grand wings and tail feathers
Into airbrakes, lights atop an icy lamppost.
I look up, it looks down.
I have a brief but perfect view
Of the broody white forehead,
Black-rimmed golden eye,
Affectless pellet of a pupil,
Grim mustard-colored beak
Hooked like a gutting knife
With a single droplet of ice at its tip.
My measure is taken without comment.
Then it thrashes air and soars south
While I shuffle inside on the salted walk
To discuss risk management.
Brad Hatfield graduated from the