Jayne Benjulian: Irruptive Species

I heard the owl too close
to the house, rustling leaves

skimming the back side
of her wings in air before

she settled atop a dead
birch. From there she surveyed.

I examined her too.
White and black bars across her chest.

Early for me, half-light:
my husband’s breathing, a storm

inside his marrow, violent rush,
upsurge in numbers, balance disturbed.

Rain pelted nests
and flooded woodlands all

last season: drowned the acorns and cedar berries.
Birds of prey scraped wings

across the snow, punched holes
with their talons. She twists her 14

neck vertebrae from my field and toward
the deeper woods,

from where a few fast signals
of singing drift.

Two A notes and a stop.
May she be now exact and swift.