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