An Owl in the Morning


Ooo.  Ooo-O0-awaa. 

So hoots the barn owl in the morning. 

Not singing, hooting.

Invisible it is, but I know
That it shifts its grey body on its oak branch,

Swiveling its head to 45 degrees,

Blinking its great all-seeing eyes.

The barn owl greets me in the morning.


A free gift, this hooting of the barn owl—

Not earned, not compensated,

A gratuity given in the suburban world.


I like to think that this owl hooting in the morning

Was a coded message

Addressed to all birds, slugs, beetles, reptiles, rodents,

Foxes, wolves, bears, deer, coyotes, minnows—

Reassuring them that their patience will be rewarded,

That this subdivision will age and rot away,

That the poisons will lose their potency,

That the non-human creatures of the earth

Will reclaim their own.


Ooo.  Ooo-O0-awaa. 



--August 1, 2013