Mimicry

by: Allison Funk

Last night I heard the barred owls calling 
        from the white pine that brushes

our windowpane, the muffling snow
        falling all around. Where had they been hiding?

For months, silence. Or, perhaps,
        lately distracted by my own weather,

I’d stopped listening,
        having nearly forgotten the nights

we’d wake up together
        to their plaintive cries and caterwauling,

their comic mating of cackles, hoots, 
        and caws. How much

had they been drinking?
        you mused once, imagining a party

of ornithologists in a bar
        slurring the owls’ Who looks for you?

Yoo-hoo, you’d murmur       
        before we joined the full-throated parliament

in their ecstatic racket.
        Now, into the space that echoes

between us, I’m calling,
        though you’re out of hearing.

I’m telling you who still looks for you
        in the snow that keeps falling.


Allison Funk is the author of six books of poetry, including, most recently The Visible Woman (Parlor Press, 2021). She is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry. She taught Creative Writing for over 25 years at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

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