Winter 1987 • Vol. IX No. 1 Poetry |

Owl

I was driving, just creeping, really,along a country road in winter, late in the day.A narrow, icy strip of roadand one house there, and one over there,asleep in the trees.I was the only thing moving. Then I saw something move. I stoppedwith some suspicion,and walked a few yards back, and stopped again. A snowy owl on a tree limbmoved its round facearound, to look at me. I didn't move. The flashers on the carbreathed red out over the snowwhile the engine idled. I stared at the thing untilwhat wind there was stilled. Till the teeth in my head were teeth.Till my feet were iron, and my hands were iron, and the first star twistedinto position. Till I swear I could almosthear—between one thingand another, and a long way down—the time slipping by. I walked back to the car, and turned it around,and crept home. The wholeness, the unearthlypatience of the bird! The momentI was gone, I bet it lifted like nothing out of its tree. I bet the ice on the rivergroaned

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Cindy Nichols is a professor of creative writing. Her poems have been published widely.

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Garden Story

By Cindy Nichols

I was driving, just creeping, really,along a country road in winter, late in the day.A narrow, icy strip of roadand one house there, and one over there,asleep in the trees.I […]

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