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Villanelle with An Owl

by | Aug 3, 2021

A barred owl sits on a limb on the Davidson College campus.

Acknowledgement: Eclipse


Villanelle with An Owl   

What if in the morning the sun did not rise,

the moon was stuck against the sky

and the barn owl flew behind his yellow eyes


over the field mice in their darkened maze

of grasses, over the pigs bedded in their sty

forever sleeping in the dark, the sun did not rise


and the songbirds bundled in their trees

swallowed their notes and would not fly

while the owl pulled through the skies


his screened eyes, the double lids, raptor’s claws,

two eyes in flight, a perpetual spy

that could never rest if the sun didn’t rise?


The moon vine would pop its glory, the prize

of blossom only once. And here, no bees, no butterflies,

just the barn owl flying behind his beacon eyes


through the silhouetted trees, over fields denied

the greening light, the rodents that will die.

What if the sun could never rise,

the owl could never close his eyes?

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