October 18th, 2017
O is for Owl, and for Mary Oliver
Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard
by Mary Oliver
His beak could open a bottle,
and his eyes - when he lifts their soft lids -
go on reading something
just beyond your shoulder -
or the Book of Revelation.
Never mind that he eats only
the black-smocked crickets,
and dragonflies if they happen
to be out late over the ponds, and of course
the occasional festal mouse.
Never mind that he is only a memo
from the offices of fear -
it's not size but surge that tells us
when we're in touch with something real,
and when I hear him in the orchard
down the little aluminum
ladder of his scream -
when I see his wings open, like two black ferns,
a flurry of palpitations
as cold as sleet
rackets across the marshlands
of my heart,
like a wild spring day
Somewhere in the universe,
in the gallery of important things,
the babyish owl, ruffled and rakish,
sits on its pedestal.
Dear, dark dapple of plush!
A message reads the label,
from that mysterious conglomerate:
Oblivion and Co.
The hooked head stares
from its blouse of dark, feathery lace.
It could be a valentine.
Lots more interesting Os here, at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to those who maintain this meme.