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.