From the sumac’s fork, an owl appraises us
calmly, finds us benign to her pursuit
of voles in the creek
in the yard, in the red raspberry canes
where mist rises in the mornings. She emerges
with a black snake
in her talons, twisting
eternally through the beech trees.
You hoot to her with warm breath
in cupped hands, she answers
with uncertainty in the dark,
swooping soundlessly through the silver
gelatin print of the moonlit woods. She watches
us and the dog walk the loop trail
from above. I don’t fuck with owls
says Daniel— harbingers of death.
One day I disturb her ripping up prey—
she freezes a beat too long, as if to say
I told you so. I told you so.
Sasha Wiseman holds a BA in Literature from Bennington College and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was a Senior Fellow in Nonfiction. Her fiction and literary criticism have appeared in The Southampton Review and The Los Angeles Review of Books.