With sharp, keen eyes
and direct, swift flight,
you're a fearsome predator
who's prey cowers from your might.

Watching from your perch
on wire or branch
the weight of your gaze
causes your prey to blanch.

That prey is birds,
mammals, and reptiles, too -
often damn near
the same weight as you.

When the weight's
too much to fly . . .
that's when a gleam strikes
your black masked eye.

Large talons you lack,
and broad gliding wings, too.
While diminutive in stature
your technique's tried and true.

You dismember your prey
with a tear and a rip,
carrying off pieces
and eating just a bit.

Impaled upon thorns
or barbed piece of wire
saving choice morsels
to consume when you desire.

Some call you "shrike",
but that's just a word.
Your name's to be feared . . .