The National Catholic Review
Ellen Calmus
in memory of Ignacio Martin-Baro

The osprey leans on a high bright wind,
brave beast, poised wings broader
and stronger than eagles’

and even so high up, even so blessed
with balance between gravity
and uprush of mountain air

the osprey sees all the way down
past mercury surfaces, through glacial waters,
into the glassy minds of the chilly trout:

seeing which way they plan to dart
he can drop like a ray of light straight
for the place he knows they will be when he gets there

and entering, plunge air and water
to a single frothing element, then rise,
thrashing silver victim pinioned in talons

but now—he floats suspended
on the long cool breath of the turning world,
hangs on the air there, still as meditation

as if all that held him were
the perfect vertical:
the line going up past sunlight

past where the sky goes black
past silence, past everything
into the cold and darting
mind of God.

Ellen Calmus is a writer, a colleague and admirer of Father Martin-Baró, and the founder of The Corner Project in Mexico, which works with families and children of migrants to the United States.

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