Communing with the Owl, May, 2020
Perhaps the owl who lives in Brues woods is my spirit animal,
as Janet says.
I know she’s teasing but I take it as a compliment:
to have a spiritual connection
means I’m sensitive.
From home, I walk to the trailhead,
enter the woods, which feels full of ghosts––
why not believe in them?
When I see the owl in a tree,
I only say “Who”, not “Who cooks for you”––
though it is a barred owl–– I don’t want to insult
with a cartoonish sound.
The owl starts preening its great brown and white chest
as if I’m not there, and indeed I feel hard-to-see.
Small feathers like wisps of candle smoke
fluff away from its body and fall
through the forest-filtered light,
and I reach out my hand and catch one.
I feel its beautiful uselessness in my cupped palm.
Then, I raise the feather to my chest, and hold it there,
wanting the owl to notice me.
I feel like a long dead but still standing tree.
Part of me wants the owl to glide down,
drape its wings on my back.
I want the feather to multiply in a soft breastplate.
Meanwhile Janet is probably in our back yard
watering the keyhole garden.
I pray for her health, our children’s, everybody’s.
I don’t know if I’m praying to god, owl, or air.
Joel Moskowitz is an artist and retired picture framer who lives with his wife and cat in Sudbury, Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in J Journal, Midstream,Naugatuck River Review, The Healing Muse, MuddyRiverPoetryReview.com, BostonPoetryMagazine.com and Soul-Lit.com. He is a First Prize winner of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire National Contest.