Wishing the Owls Goodnight

Halfway to midnight
I open the door
to pick up the food bowl
from the stray marmalade cat
that eats only
on the front porch

hear the owls cucubating
rhythmic undulations
rippling through the woods
rolling across the highway
to caress me

like a gentle hand
an arm across my shoulders
so that my back eases
as I step further
onto peeling porch planks
evening’s chill wrapping
round but those owls

calling, calling, content
in their conversations
tree to tree beneath
heavy clouds not even a moon
as heads swivel and
throats burble
in call/response

their lush warmth
rumbling like distant thunder
barely perceptible
so that you cup your ears
just to be sure you’ve heard
not wanting to miss
a single sound
as you wish the owls Goodnight
before you shut the door.

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