Phyllis Hotch
2011 New Mexico Honor Scroll Award

Phyllis Hotch, 83, Taos, is a retired English teacher. She is a board member of SOMOS, writing organization in Taos, and author of two published chapbooks, A Little Book of Lies (Blinking Yellow Books, 1993) and No Longer Time (La Alameda Press, 2001). This is her first appearance as a winner in the annual Senior Poets Laureate poetry competition for American poets 50 and older. Her sign of the zodiac is Capricorn.


YOUNG BIRDS

A hawk pursues the dove. Fluid
wordless he seizes her, perceives the back door
as a pathway to fly through and hits with the neck in his beak.

A loud drumbeat on the glass
they drop to the brick pavement
both die lying face to face.

Such young birds. The hawk larger than the dove,
A garnet puddle under the doveís beak. Still.
Seconds after their death. Still warm.

Astonishing softness of the down to my finger.
Too soon to bury. These deaths need contemplation. Beauty
attacking gentleness, instinct coming to naught. Donít

rinse away the carmine stain. It will be a record of an event,
when a young hawk killed a young dove in front of my door
in front of my eyes

and killed himself.
Blind chance, then poor judgment. A wiser bird would
have waited for more space. So beautiful

the creamy little breast on the dove, its dark eye a gem.
Russet stripes across the hawk, yellow open claws and eye.
No one lived. No one ate.

Phyllis Hotch