“Owls at Midday”

Kakalak, Summer 2020

Keeping the garden wet, the bird baths full,
these are the important tasks. Charleston’s
drought is not as dry as the high desert

at any given moment, but this landscape
of porous, sandy soil, of tall trees and marshes
always thirsts. Grass tires in the sun, tomato plants

lay un-bloomed in their beds, robins dance
in the sprinkler’s overshot droplets.
It is the kind of dry that draws two barred owls

like a midday omen to the shallow basin
of the birdbath. Wings dot sudden
with stars, their eyes like tunnels

to the other-world, their echo
my mother’s feathered call.