Screech Owl

A dreamy glow is spread
across the mountain early, when the city
pigeons are the first
birds flying. A radio left on all night
plays rhapsodies and string quartets whose sounds
have travelled centuries to be here.
And a lost anxiety
sparks inside a mind reluctant
to awaken but doesn’t know the password
that it allows it back
to sleep. It doesn’t know the reason
for alarm was picked up in the night by
an owl and every bone coughed out
is fear bedded into soft
white fur.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix and enjoys a view of the desert mountain that occupies its space surrounded by the city. He has had an unusual year in which watching the local wildlife has been a help in his recovery. Read other articles by David.