Eastern Screech Owl and Northern Goshawk: Two Poems

Eastern Screech Owl


Outside my daughter’s window—

she’s eight—a screech owl

in a pilfered nest in the hollow

of a horse chestnut tree.


The squirrel squawks, glaring

first at me, then the owl

in her gray phase.  She looks 

like silver maple bark.


Beneath the trunk, a circle

of pellets, my daughter and I

the field mouse fur dissect.


By December the owl has flown,

the storm windows are closed,

down blankets my daughter. 



Northern Goshawk 


Driving to a swim meet

we’re watched by a goshawk

perched on the side of I-80

clutching its prey.


My son is nervous—

he does not notice the crow

mangled among the talons—

he fears disqualification.


By late December

when the trees are bare

the goshawks appear.


My son came in second,

swam a personal best.

The crow’s my memory.



Image: Eastern Screech Owl by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren  CC by 2.0



Michael Hardin
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