Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores

byDuane Niatum
Storm thought blown south from arctic tundra,
it sits on a stump in an abandoned farmer's field.
Beyond the dunes cattails dance as steady
as the surf, rushing and crashing down the jetty.

It wonders if the spot two hundred feet away
is a meal crawling from mud hole to deer grass.
When half an hour passes and nothing darts
sideways or upwards but its own feathers,
a North Pole creature shows us how to last.

The wind ruffles the hour through his feathers
from crown to claws while he gazes into zeroes
the salt-slick rain. So when a double-rainbow arcs
the sky before us and the owl, we leave
the path accompanied by the storm's white refrain.

From Drawings of the Song Animals, Holy Cow! Press
Revised 2/96. © 1991,1996 Duane Niatum

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