Owl Return

I remember you.
You came last January
on the coldest night so far
that year.

The knot of a sawn-off
limb on the pine tree
provides you with
the perfect roost.

You sit like a Caesar,
arranging and rearranging
your feathers in
the gathered snow.

I don’t know how
you can endure such
a cold night; even the stars
are frozen in place.

Your mottled plumage,
a halo in the light
of the ice-sculpted moon,
is an incandescent miracle.

Little magic maker, you are
smaller than I remember,
no bigger than my fist;
or perhaps it’s just me that’s grown.

In cold and breathless air
you swoop down on
soundless wings, light
as a snowflake in the wind.

Caroline Misner
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