I took a seat on a cliff top bench        
to watch the falcon work her prey, 
sure as time’s sped to my birthday, 
or dandelion seeds drift slow 
with breeze and breath. 

She veered and I eased back on the bench        
against an old nameplate that waits 
for a gaze to take in its dates, 
the birth of a man I didn’t know, 
and then his death. 

I picked dandelions by the bench        
their seed heads grown white as my hair 
as they held for a lifting air 
to wing up off the sea below 
or for my breath. 

Then I noticed the name on the bench.    
Like me, his birthday was today, 
and his age when he passed away 
is mine now, though long years ago 
the date of death. 

When I return that day to the bench,        
I shall find a bloom gone to seed. 
With that falcon screaming her need 
as she flies, do I see her go 
and take a breath?