The Great Horned Night Owl Screeches My Name

The Great Horned Night Owl

screeches my name and

I whisper back that it’s wrong.

 

Look around the block, across the coast

there is the soul that you seek.

 

She shifts to the closest oak limb

tapping just outside my window.

 

Bruja Buho both witch and owl

my grandmother called her,

 

this white night tapper

defiantly staring into my soul.

 

I listen to her caw, trying to detect

the trapped echo of others inside

but hear only my own.

 

It ruffles its plumicorns

reasserting its power over me

even in the past blinding light.

 

Its fluting has always

followed silently behind.

 

The final shape of this shifter

has always been me,

its imitations always my song.

 

She takes flight and

stands in the sky

denying me heaven.

 

She commands my ghost

to roam the earth forever,

 

my fate to be a

warning to my children.

 

She denies them her guardianship.

She denies them her wisdom.

 

She curses their sleep  

to nightmares.

 

They will only know

her banshee screeching. 

 

Her appearance will be

their disease and punishment.

 

In the bony circles around her eyes

they will see my torment

and my mimed warnings.

 

And when they kill her,

denying their fate,

 

they will see the sky again and

wear her feathers in their hair.