Now The Owl

Dusk

The sun has only just

Sunken below the ridge

When the little screech owl

(poorly named as it doesn’t screech at all)

Begins its falsetto trill

Announcing that the sun is gone;

The night games can begin.

He’s upstream-due west

Perhaps in the big sycamore.

No bigger than my fist, invisible in the gloaming

That’s fine-I don’t need to see him to

Know what he’s saying.

The evening rooster trilling the eagle home

From the hunt.

Calling the tree frogs out to sing.

The snakes have gone to ground.

Raccoons and possums shake off the days’ slumber.

Finches and towhees give way to swallows dipping and diving

After mayflies and skeeters.

Then the bats join the dance-flickering blindly in

Four directions at once.

Bull frogs thump, thump in the weeds while

Big bass-hearing and hunting-patrol the shallows under dusk’s cover.

Coyotes yip and bobcats cough and deer are free to

Roam the fields.

Venus has just risen in the pearl gray sky when

An otter snags a catfish and curls on a rock to feast.

The trilling says it’s our time now.

Stars awaken and the

Sun sleeps.

We’ll fill your dreams, it says, with the music of the ages.

© TDR 2019

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