May/June 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 3 Nature's Nature |

Hope Is a Raptor with Talons

That won't leave me alone. I am the thingwith poems, I perch upon the soul. I amthe thing with derision, with vision, whoseperch can take a toll. But you are the thingthat sings a tune and never stops at all,even though I ask, very directly, a few times a year. Hope is a raptor with feathersreputed to be wisebut every night is out tearing off strips of mice and turning its head past the side like a lunatic,eyes wide for danger: moon-white as they hazard the moon. Need is the thing with fur that bashes against the cageand screams the tune without the wordsand stops. Hope is a dinosaur's daughter.A rover in a cage. Dreams of an eaten seed. An owl, a fluffball relic of the Lizard Age. On our nocturne guided walk in old-growth forest in Oregon we stalked an owl pair but never saw them. Under the influence of the forest I encountered their absent version. Invisible, incorporeal, it was easy to get them past airport security. Nowthey haunt me with their adamant hope in NYC, ab

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