Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Night Owl

It’s Two o’clock and the house tucks 
itself in, settling for the night. The old wood 
creaking, sighing, purring itself to sleep. 
Tonight, I am its sentinel.  

Between solitude and sleep, two fatigues 
push and pull me down a valley of purple haze 
while fragments and dried feathers snap, 
scrape and break against my cheeks. Here bare 
knuckled skin brush away a flow of tears.

Peering over the window ledge, past a manse 
of murky oaks and pines, a scroll of scattered 
words try to work free from their tussle of cares.

Shaking my head from side to side might 
wrench me free from damp and achy thoughts…
Something outside not far off, advances. 
It presses through the dusty panes. “Whoo, 
Who- Hoo- Ho-ooo” rising.   And falling…

It nudges, repeats, trails off… as if awaiting 
response.  It’s been a dozen years since the evening 
I strolled along the patchy banks of a rivulet
where he flew – gliding – above my head. 
In that first fail swoop – he signed and invited – 
establishing an immediate, unlikely friendship.

Many say that Owls are Wise. Have any yet dared
tell of their secretive social wiles? Aha!  ‘Tis now 
my turn to speak through this shapeless vale,
crafted and cared for by the Maker and Giver 
of such dear - such precious gifts.  

He, who sealed my heart allows its surrender.

“Good Night. Good Owl. Good Night.”

Written by Hannah De Lisser
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