As kids, my sister Carol and I loved to sing silly poems and songs – “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea” and “I’m a Pink Toothbrush” were favorites on long road trips in our Chevrolet S-10 Blazer from the Owens Valley to San Diego. And who didn’t love the fun couplets from Dr. Seuss, which made perfect sense to our eager minds? To this day I’d like to try green eggs, but maybe with a tofu ham substitute.
This poem is dedicated to all of my friends and families, their children and grandchildren, and to the young-at-heart. Carol and I wrote it together, inspired by a photo Joe and I took from Taxiway Bravo at Concord Airport one autumn day, spotting a hawk atop a sock. Many of us pilots take off, cruise, descend, and land near hawks. We always pray they don’t fly into our propellers. They are fearless, they are always exciting to see up close. They are our airport friends.
I hope you enjoy the poem. Read it to someone out loud and let Carol and I know if it merits a giggle or two. And please, if you have a line that would strengthen it, or a line we ought to remove, let us know!
Hawk On A Sock
There’s a hawk,
There, on the orange sock.
From the cockpit I can see it,
It is a red-tailed hawk.
There’s a hawk, see it, on the sock, see it.
An orange sock, a sock beneath a hawk.
The sock is full of air,
It blows in from the west,
The hawk’s feathers keep him warm
Even when he is away from his nest.
The wind at the airport is blowing, blowing, blowing.
I ask my passenger – where are you going?
“To town,” he says, “to town to buy a rock.”
“A rock,” I say, “you want to buy a rock?”
“Yes, a rock, I must buy a rock,
A rock to add to my stock.”
“But most rocks are free, I must point out.
The rock you seek is gold, no doubt.”
“No, not gold,” he says, “I want a special kind of rock.”
“What do you do with a special rock,
The rock you’ll add to your stock?”
“Well,” he says, “I need this rock,
I need this rock for my best friend,
My best friend the Hawk.”
“That hawk, the hawk that’s on that sock?”
“Yes, the hawk that’s on that sock.
His name is Mister Tick-Tock.”
“Tick-tock, like a clock?” I inquire.
“Tick-tock, like a clock.
My hawk tells time
Without a watch.
He calls ‘Wake up!’ when it’s Nine.”
“You wake at nine, isn’t that late?”
“I suppose it is, my hawk’s third-rate.
So about my rock, what do you think of slate?
A hawk likes to decorate.”
“Wait, the hawk likes to decorate?” I ask.
“As of late, yes, he decorates. He’s trying to attract a mate.”
“He’s decorating his nest so a mate might come. And his mate might wake me up at Eight.”
“His mate won’t want slate, that’s rather dull! What other fantastical rocks could you cull?”
“Quartz, amethyst, aquamarine, just make it small, you know what I mean.
We must not risk weighing down the plane you see.”
So off they went to town to find the stone. In the rock shop they did find one golden brown.
Tiger’s Eye, small enough don’t you know, to fit in the beak of the Buteo.
And when they gave it to the hawk, the one on the orange sock,
the hawk named Mister Tick-Tock,
well, the bird nodded his best,
to say a special thanks, then
flew off with a happy heart, flew away to his nest.
There, he found his mate,
and from that time on,
everyone was up,
up at the crack of dawn.