Call a harsh ‘chack’; song is a scratchy warble
catching my origins in a thicket of oak.
My passerine tact a mystery to the hawk.
A week in my wingspan is idle flit and hack;
my back’s bitter blood-bolt, the terse use of my beak
to keep my barbed-wire larder of corpses in stock.
No carrion-charmer, no falcon or red kite
I, peregrine, I pious in thought and act
am shriven in my little blood, my butcher’s reek.
In the wrack of my nest, in its bone-scree of voles and shrews
I am called to the questing retch of my home choir,
their eyrie-cry my kyrie eleison.