poem02 Sep 2019 08:12 am
By John Haslam – originally posted to Flickr as Local Wildlife – stained glass window, Dornoch Cathedral #1, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7853097

Shveta Thakrar and Brittany Warman

For Sara Cleto
On dappled wings,
Dusted with snow, with secrets,
She drifts through the dreaming,
Through mists to home.
 
The stars blink, placid,
As she plucks them for her feast.
Hungry her belly, hungry her heart,
She gulps down light like berries.
 
It is hard as tree bark, as unforgiving,
This journey of wind and wonder.
The owl maid bared her truth once, twice, thrice,
Unfurling her majestic cloak of feathers.
 
But so few men dare to see true,
Past the plumage they might snatch,
The secrets to expose, the soul to ensnare,
Into the rich depths of shadow and spark.
 
And so she leaves offerings for a peaceful solitude,
For freedom: silver coins and blue shells
Meant for witch goddesses and fairy godmothers,
Quiet prayers for indifference, for strength.
 
The owl maid soars on, wings embracing the sky.
Fools are soon forgotten, even friends,
All left to mutter of the one who stole away,
While she seeks out new hearths, new homes.
 
She is free, she is whole.
Her soul needs nothing but
A feathered nest, an adventure,
Stardust and stories.
 
But long nights can still grow lonely—
And dreams of gentle fingertips on down,
Gentle laughter, the man in the moon,
Become whispered spells in the dark.
 
What lips could shape a spell for her,
She who is wild in ways, fierce in will?
What heart would not quail before her mysteries
But only ever extend a kind hand?
 
And then, one summer night,
Sunshine echoing in each star,
The owl maid opens her eyes
And discovers an old, dear friend beside her.
 
Here is one who knows her truly
As she knows him.
Here is one who knows the spells,
Has only to speak them at last.
 
“I know owl wives are rare,”
He says with a smile,
“Too bold for domesticity,
Too enchanted to hold in your hand.
 
“But if you will fly with me
On nights like these, and nights darker,
I will give you adventures, stories, and stardust.
I will help you build your nest of feathers.”
 
The owl maid gazes as only owls can,
Finally seeing the magic right before her eyes.
She plucks from her cloak a single spotted plume
And places it firmly in his palm.


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