I took a seat on a cliff top bench
to watch the falcon work her prey,
sure as time’s sped to my birthday,
or dandelion seeds drift slow
with breeze and breath.
She veered and I eased back on the bench
against an old nameplate that waits
for a gaze to take in its dates,
the birth of a man I didn’t know,
and then his death.
I picked dandelions by the bench
their seed heads grown white as my hair
as they held for a lifting air
to wing up off the sea below
or for my breath.
Then I noticed the name on the bench.
Like me, his birthday was today,
and his age when he passed away
is mine now, though long years ago
the date of death.
When I return that day to the bench,
I shall find a bloom gone to seed.
With that falcon screaming her need
as she flies, do I see her go
and take a breath?