Dead birds hide such secrets
in their frozen wing-beats ...
this old female gray owl
on my desk to dismember
one wing still thrusting
talons locked on nothing
her memory of summer's nesting
the sun warm on her head
the sounds of birds around
her young stirring beneath
that gentle careful crouch
all lost, wasted in this last
tangle with a moving car
that feathered numb head
turned up to no light at all
the many places she knew
to find mice in distant woods
hidden in this jumble of
feathered bones and the
fierce brightness gone beneath
those lids slipped low.

January 1992, Robert W. Nero


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