The Owl

Marilyn Buck

[This poem is read by Nellie Wong MP3 of this poem]

Emma woman needed no serpent
to know the ways of the world
she whirled around, looked down on nakedness
and approved
perched upon the apple branch, fist clenched she whooped
why listen
to a snake when one is

a perspicacious owl
spectacled, panoramic eyes penetrating
penumbras of hybrid white mice pretending
to be blue-blood swans?

Emma owl swooped
anarched wings and ruffled feathers

red & black      worker ants sallied
from rattletrap tenements
mine shafts and foundry furnaces
you have nothing

to lose but your chains
they marched uptown
to strike
the swindle-starched underbellies
of gold-dust-whiskered rats

aria-throated plebian owl she
flew      flew
indefatigable over seas and land
wings fanning freedom

November 2001

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