As my friend and I drove to church,
Meandering on a road offering trees and loveliness,
We saw ahead an imposing being
Resting on an overhanging bare branch.
A raccoon first came to mind—
Such was the creature’s size—
But then we saw and understood
The white beaked head,
Eyes searching sustenance:
The only bald eagle I have seen
Out of the sky
In all my decades of living and wandering nearby.
The eagle gave the best of the day’s sermons:
Our world, God’s world,
Embraces eagles and humans,
Oceans and cities,
Elk and agriculture,
Hunted elephants and hungry children;
The choice is not between such as you and such as we;
The choice is between
Reverence for God’s creation—
Care for the Earth and air—
Between that and nothingness.