Fall 1958 • Vol. XX No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1958 |

Safety

Lightly in winter dusk, immured from snow Between two hills where no men dare for long, The calm owl wooed his cold beloved home. Alone I listened to his listening, Huddled alert to hear one moving plume Afloat between the two hills and the sky. And, somewhere underneath the paths I knew, Or somewhere far above, or near at hand, I thought I heard the gathering other voice Molding a song between itself and wind, To answer him, before his listening face Forgot the slowly differing plume and snow. Now they were very gone, outplumed by snow, Frazzled marauders, lost in tenderness A little while, in snow where no men dare For long, and I, kicking unlikely grass, Listened again, though I should hardly hear Those owls in love again before I die. I need a fire, for all an owl may say (Nothing to me). White lovers love the cold. While men turn over through the heavy dark Of winter walls, and bluster, and grow old, The owl woos his beloved through the dark Of a light snow, a light

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