In our walled yard, a hawk stood--grave as an angel-- on a snowy hump of feathers. She turned her face and fixed me with her perfectly round and clear right eye. At last she simply opened her wings and rose, carrying her lunch with her over the avenue. It is all a matter of moment. Fewer red lights and I might have seen feathers flash against the sun: the stoop, the strike, the waves of air opening, a whirlpool towards landfall. Or, pursuing my usual routine, I'd have come home late to a scattering of feathers, perhaps one lump of bone glistening in its pale pink sheath. I'd have imagined immediately the neighbor's cat, long black body pressed flat against the earth, how --slowly, slowly it must have crept through the screen of bushes towards the fat and nearly flightless pigeon. One paw, then (after forever) the next-- raised, placed silently in the grass. Stop. Muscles gather for the great uncoiling... Spring! Hooked together, fur and feathers tumbling across the lawn and finally into stillness. Later, sated, the cat tugs the corpse away, under the blackberry brambles. Tracing the marks, I'd have read a plausible, earthbound tale: being completely confident, being completely wrong.