The Cost by Edward Hack

The Cost

The birds work all day long. No holidays,
no birds’-day-off, no time to read or write
a note to birds in other states, no way
to just relax, catch up on news, get tight
with dear old friends. Set free to roam the skies,
they do not roam but hunt familiar turf.
They aren’t free but starving all their lives;
instinctual, they live to scan their earth
for food from dawn to dark. What grace, their glides,
their arabesques. But truth to say, it’s all
to hunt, escape from predators, survive
to search again for food. We stare, enthralled—
imagination’s angels on their course—
then pause at the exaction of the cost.

by Edward Hack

Editor’s Note: This sonnet pointedly reminds us that there isn’t much difference between us and the birds, despite what our overgrown brains might think of their beauty.