Azro Pratt and Angi Lewis

“Checking on the Owls”
Azro Pratt

Checking on the Owls
By Angi Lewis
Inspiration piece

Every day for weeks that August,
we rode our bikes down the road to check on the owls.

There were two downy young ones
and their watchful mother.

We saw the young ones only a handful of times.
They sat on separate branches, perfectly still
except for the strange turning of their heads.

We saw the mother once.
She swooped low around the corner,
then disappeared.

We rode a little farther and stopped.

I caught sight on her on the branch of a fir tree
where she sat fixed, focused.

when we hadn’t seen the owls for several days,
and we figured they’d moved on-
we still rode down there.

We still said we were going to check on the owls.

It came to mean looking for what presented itself:
the cottonwood leaves flashing like coins,
the dark thread of the creek,
and pieces of torn sky, hung between the trees
like scraps of blue paper.


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