Matthew Sweeney

(1952 / Lifford)

The Snowy Owl - Poem by Matthew Sweeney

Over the heads of the firing squad
flew a snowy owl, who oohooed twice
just before they pulled their triggers
and as the woman slumped on her ropes,
blood splattering her white dress,
the owl landed on her shoulder,
oohooed again, and swivelled its big-
eyed gaze over all the uniformed men,
one of whom raised his rifle
but the captain knocked it away
while the owl pecked at some blood
on the woman's breast, smearing
its own breast feathers, then glared,
it seemed, at the transfixed men,
before swooping off, barely missing
the head of one, making them all
turn to watch it glide away, and hear
one more oohoo echo through the sky.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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