Explore UAB

Laura Van Prooyen

BPR 51 | 2024

Owl 3:16

For I’d grown weary of my world and left it
    for a while, for a quiet, remote place, no neighbors
for miles, save for a great horned owl. First-glance
    I was fooled, its feathered tufts erect,
like cat ears. But wind-fluttered! On a twisting head!
    The owl so loved the world, she chose
the perfect nest: on hay bales stacked to rafters, off
    the ground, no one around, until
I arrived. Here for a month-long stay to sit it out
    and see who I am when / who in relation to / what
beliefs I still hold. To stop my spinning off. To rest.
    And let me imagine your fleshy face
instead of the one you died with. No doubt, you’d love
    this owl. No doubt, you do. See her
hunkering down, warming her clutch of eggs, or
    are there fledglings now? I thought I caught
a glimpse in silhouette at dawn, a quick peek
    of a moving thing I hadn’t seen before.
That same morning, though, clear against dim light,
    I saw the mate fly to the nest and drop a large,
limp kill. He lifted it again, brought to her
    the food. Then stayed longer than I expected him to.