Great White Owl

dedicated to daughter Beth

majestic snowy owl
perched in the still night
on a branch far above and safely away
from her hungry chicks

like a dappled statuette of moonlight
she sees every detail with perfect clarity

but it is her hearing that locates dinner
a rustle beneath straw hundreds of yards away
is triangulated with absolute precision and
she glides to where her memory holds her prey

and without the faintest whisper of sound
descends upon what she cannot see
pierces and ends the small life
with absolute certainty, quick finality

she lifts noiselessly the air seeming
to pull her effortlessly upward
long white snowy wings ascending
to her quiet nest her hungry brood
already learning the sustenance of stillness

©John Greenleaf-Maple 5/22/17

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