Not the pair

 

We've kept death out of mind,

pretended only old humans died, 

took path naturally at the end. 

 

Then, webcam, demise of life,

eagle nest near factory, real-time,

online. At first, wonder, ecstasy,

 

amazement at being there,

hillside tree, majestic parents,

two babies, fuzzed, famished,

 

lurching about the deep nest, 

ringed safe by ragged sticks.

Eight hundred morning viewers

 

see dad bring squirrel back --

dead tidbit, mere snack --

rip flesh in strips, dangle bits 

 

for eaglet beaks. He flies off,

mom hunches, feather shelter

keeping babies out of rain. 

 

Dad returns, salmon still alive, 

babies gobble belly, sides --

it finally dies. Mom stretches wings,

 

soars back to nest, settles in,

her shift all day astride the pair, 

head cocked, being there.

 

Overnight, somehow, an eaglet dies,

gets stuck to mom's underside --

he's dragged about, finally scraped off.

 

Workers arrive below, unaware

she shelters one baby, not the pair.

Until dark, we mourn as she stares.

                              Timothy Pilgrim