The Gift

{for Pat Plant}

“My Christmas gift?” I asked
as I unwrapped the paper towel
to expose amber eyes aglow.
A ring finger’s height, the owl
when shaken cast prismatic light.
Like runes on a monolith, you had
scribbled Wise Ole Owl, words I
thought redundant but now see
wordlessly as owl flight at night.
We often spoke a widow’s grief
to one another, of owls in woods
which call at dust to their mates—
Orpheus to Eurydice. You
knew the nature of mountains,
woods, shadowed faces, solitude.
With the prescience you displayed
in life, did you take from Death its
numinous mysteries too? Or had
you long ago sensed owl essence?

~Sylvia Little-Sweat

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