O Milwaukee eagle, circler over muddy rivers,
Who takes the sun contentedly and air approvingly;
Who never has alighted on languidly carried parasols had by tall ladies in brown;
Who has seen sheet-iron all the while preferring clouds—
You can be the life's-soothing of Miss Halloran, of John Doonane.
Cross long tracks, clean in your sun, eagle, and wheel over 400 rosebushes, many, many white.
You take your sky-nearing head to cities possessing the tired at 9 and the moody at 11.
You possessed the moment's notice of the much and dimly in love Al Hamber, who also is around a machine which has written the number 14, and the number 4.
Something like a rhombus is made by your busy this way, that way wings, in the gently embracing sky, having you.
You are not a civic problem to Milwaukee.
You do not irk Milwaukee householders, given to dozing when the sun is red.
You do not question time and what air is and space is is not matter of annoyance to you.
Milwaukee eagle, impoliteness is not for you, not in you, any way at all.
Take your mornings blithely, much flying one.
Be worthy of the sun, you, at home where all is high.
Disregard all two-legged, no-winged sojourners.
Traverse the sluggish creek, the buoyant brook, the unconcerned river.
Be unaware of any star but in that manner you choose.
Take dark gracefully, light becomingly.
Adorn mist and add to the power of rain.
Beyond snow, be gravely still and pleased.
Take Milwaukee as you please.
You have your rights, eagle, and your mad privileges, your not to be ever taken away bird and being madnesses.
Skirt against light and charge white air, reposing clouds; do this, and, eagle, the world is pleased and says, Go on.
You go over Milwaukee, but Milwaukee is your debtor.
Be seen when you may.
See hats 2000 feet down.
Sleep in clouds.
Be over Milwaukee.
Get into dreams.
Milwaukee eagle, be mad and rest; be seen and untroubled; surround houses and be the despair of gentlemen, the favorite of air, the pampered of earth, and the swift decoration of Milwaukee and furious, strange, unthought of, wide heights, yours, O eagle.
From Hail, American Developement (Definition Press)
© 1968 by Eli Siegel