the black phoebe sits on the wire
in the waning light of the afternoon,
its hooded head turning and nodding,
its sharp eyes surveying the yard below.
it is the hunting hour
when the light is best;
when winged insects take to the air
oblivious to the danger perched above.
a large moth flits under the patio eaves…
up and down and in and out
in seemingly aimless motion.
suddenly the phoebe swoops to strike
with a sound like fist on a paper sack
the catch is made
inches short of collision with the house
the bird executes a speedy turn,
and with meal in beak
circles back to its perch.
where the moth was but a second before
only a beige cloud of powder remains,
dissipating in the breeze,
dissolving into the air…