Red Tail Formel

Red Tail at Formel 

Before dawn and out from behind 

the guard rail she flew through my light,  

her red tail a checkerboard 


then dark again and floating in the wake 

of morning coming-on. I used to account 

a crossing-bird to omens, but out here on 

Dead Oak Road the fates display 

only when they’re ready and even then 

rarely in the form of a hawk. Above  

the state highway my lights carved 

some fog the creek had made. 

She found a dogwood limb and I’m sure 

watched me fade. For a while the trucks  

held off until a russet spread from out-east.  

She shook herself as if to snap

into something

L. Ward Abel

L. Ward Abel, poet, composer, teacher, retired lawyer, lives in rural Georgia, has been  published hundreds of times in print and online, including Snow Jewel, The Reader, Yale Anglers' Journal, Versal, Words for the Wild, After the Pause, Istanbul Review, others, and is the author of one full collection and eleven chapbooks of poetry, including Jonesing For Byzantium (UKA Press, 2006),  American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012),  Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce-Press, 2016), Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017), and The Rainflock Sings Again (Unsolicited Press, 2019).  

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