December 2, 2022


To an owl

Warm nest
Downy feathers, soft moss
The owl’s old bones shake as
Axe seeks heartwood and the world falls from
Atlas’s shoulders

Owl had
lived here for years,
was planning one last autumn
in this familiar place, before the long dark
took her

But now,
she is falling, and
like Icarus, her wings fail her
She will never again see snow, endlessly reflecting
Moon, heaven

The man
was looking towards winter
working for a roaring fire, always
been told that his diligence and hard work
were virtues

But when
he regards lifeless owl
he feels something cold as sin
He picks her up, petting her soft feathers
And whispers

“I didn’t mean no harm”

Author’s note: This piece is inspired by the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns and the novella “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck