I carry the owls with me
deep in my pocket or tucked
in the cup of my bra: they doze,
bills dipped in a bib of feathers,
turn janglesome if I forget they
are there when I run for the bus.
They come with me to work:
warm-blooded and tickly as fingers.
We sit in the road, the owls and I,
lost in the dwining day, the failing
sun a shinicle over the town.
I carry their flight over dreaming
hills, hollow bones lifting and keening.
They gowl for slumgullion,
cagmag, fresh mice: get shifty
as we reach the back country,
tear through my blouse,
glide over the spinney, searching,
I carry the owls with me, still,
in vellum and in sepia. I carry
them on my tongue and I feed them
to our children. May they carry the owls
for us all, their darknesses, their eyes.