Strange this thing that trees do in autumn
sending them to their deaths,
the wind not entirely blameless,
showing no mercy.
You die that I may live,
says the tree
as the leaves acquiesce,
catching what light they can
on their downward journey,
dazzling us with their grief.
Hungry for blue skies
broken only by tree tops
birds and clouds I
take what I can of it
and looking out at me
from children’s eyes.
Even here you wait and watch.
I can’t see your wondrous head turning
or your Persian-cat eyes fixing on prey
or some other interesting thing,
but I hear you.
You called last week just before dawn
from somewhere beyond the morning-still street
from the pines perhaps. That’s high up enough for your kind
who have short shrift for earthbound things
preferring the celestial.
There were two of you out there in the pre-dawn stillness
when shadows still rule before sunlight intrudes
and sends nocturnal things running for cover,
two of you hooting back and forth for a moment
I’m not sure.
The traffic drowned you out,
infernally necessary human thing
that makes no time for owls
and their conversations, slough over your syllables
and ideas, rob me of them.
But I heard you.
I heard you.