It’s quiet on the prairie.
Overcast days,
until just before the sun appears
or disappears—
then pinks, oranges, reds
more vibrant
than the usually beautiful
evening skies.
On clear nights
the depth to which
we can see stars
is wildly breathtaking.
Red-winged Blackbirds,
atop trees,
seem louder in the winter quiet.

Red-tailed Hawks
glide silently over the prairie,
red tails aglow
as they dip toward the sunshine.
There are lots of hawks now. So many,
flying low across the land.
A friend tells me she’s seen a couple
hit by cars on the highway. I hear
their searing calls
and spot several to the mile,
on tree tops,
fence posts,
watching—for mice,
I hope, for there are so many.
I discover those tiny bodies
floating in water buckets at the barn,
see them scurry across the country roads,
find them here and there,
obviously a cat’s catch.
I trust that the hawk population
has increased
as the mouse population
and that they will come into
before Ann plants the spring garden
in the high tunnel greenhouse. She’s still
not in the mood
for the tiny mouse teeth
to chew her tender sprouts!