As we leave the woods

a barn owl alights on felled pine
her slight weight on slender bough
heart face dipped in sunset

we gaze through thorn, speech frozen in our mouths
as if words might betray the curvature of her wings
the magnitude of her silence

she sculls light
rises to quarter the ground for mouse and shrew
while we turn for home, tugged by the same moon,
clumsy in her presence

Jan Harris