The Owl

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I first heard her call at twilight.

A warning or a calling? I was not sure.

This is not the first I heard from our hundred-years-old oak trees

That remind us how time is all relative.

I have heard them at twilight and near dawn.

Each time, I am still startled out of myself –

Awakened, really – to the world outside me.

I try to find where the call is coming from.

Then I see her:

Like a queen upon her throne

She gazes down (Benevolently?) 

From the great limb where she’s perched.

The owl has seen me long before I noticed her.

In that moment, I am grateful.

Grateful that I am not a mouse or vole

Or any other small rodent whom she would devour

As greedily as a child with Halloween candy.

To be seen by a bird of prey –

To fall under their gaze –

Is to be humbled, 

As if by some great god of the past.

Suddenly, she spreads her wings

And swoops off to snatch up – what?

I do not see

And am only glad it is not I

In those sharp talons of 

God’s.

 

 

 

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