You say they were slow to learn. The brains of owls
Went down in your opinion through long hours
Of unresponsive staring
While you showed them how to act out minor parts
In the world of Harry Potter. Come with me now
Into the night, perch motionless, balanced
On a branch above a thicket, where every choice
Of a flight path is more narrow
Than your broad wing-span, more jagged
And crooked than patterns of interrupted moonlight
On twigs and fallen leaves, where what you take
In silence with claws and beak to stay alive
Knows everything about you except your tricks,
Except where you're going to be in the next instant
And how you got there without anyone's help.
This article originally ran in the February 7, 2005 issue of the magazine.