On October 31, 2016, a male Northern Harrier flew past Hawk Mountain’s North Lookout. Seeing it, Catherine Elwell said, “Gray ghost on Halloween. How fitting.” Her words inspired this poem.
Gray Ghost, floating through the blue sky,
You are a fitting spectral sight
For these hours leading to Halloween night.
And I wonder, as you go by,
What do you note with eye, with ear,
That speaks to you of Halloween here?
“From my position up on high
The trees in valley down below
Wear costumes in yellow and reddish glow.
“When to the lookout I draw nigh,
I see a copse of leafless trees
Whose gnarled trunks look like witches’ knees,
“And whose limbs reach out to the sky
Seeking to grasp and grab and trap
A young passing bird in spidery wrap.
“The hills resound with raven cry,
Perhaps issuing a warning
That before the dawning of the morning
“Report will come of some who die
By deeds most cruel and craven,
In the dark shadow of Schambach’s Tavern.
“This is what I hear and espy.
“Therefore I will now quickly fly,
In order to escape the fear
That this All Hallows’ Eve is bringing near.”