What the Dark Becomes
Injured, the young barn owl pushed its head
into the tree, trying to hollow out some darkness for itself.
Brightness blinding, its knitting needle beak clicked away
until I put it in a shoebox under the refuge of hedge.
All day it ate nothing, drank nothing
just blinked its yoke-yellow eye at me.
Listening for the slow sounding of dusk,
I carried the box to the hill, turned it on its side.
The fledging bird, dazed, flopped out, stumbled
across the grass, up, then down again.
Maybe its instinct measured the leaving of light
or wisdom to some silent homing call
because it gave a little run, a flap of wing,
flew back into the dark it swept out of me.