Sunday, August 14, 2011

In a Year When Thousands Died in My Name

Gray owl hunts beneath full moon,
sounding depths of pine, paper birch,
tamarack and marsh brush.
The north land winter ebbs,
spring's rimy nights wake
in mornings glorious with warmth.

Disposed to bird augury, I seek in wings
and whirring resonance in hollows
many things, but always just one:
What direction fly the times? From what angle
slinks fate? what freedom has a man
given to lies about heart and mind?
Fate of nations, fate of earth, an owl
flies above ruin or fields sumptuous with green;
it finds what it can to stay the day.

Hunter, predator, the field is ripe this year;
arrow of hunger, wise harvester of mice
and frogs, your razor beak slices meat
from bone and sinew with no remorse.
And when they return, the broken, the sweaty
with nightmare in their eyes, they will watch
your neat autopsy with beak and claw,
recall the pain they were trained not to feel
and embrace warm wife or gun’s cold steel.

copyright 2011 Charles David Miller

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