Poised by Barbara Saunier

Cosseting daylight tousles her hair,
chucks her under the chin, pinches her cheek. Won’t
let her cross the road without a firm hold—even
at the corner when she looks both ways.

Once night rises, shadows from headlights overlap
shadows from moonlight overlap shadows from kitchen
incandescence. Overlap
flashlight’s narrow way. Only in light
are there shadows.

With the yard light’s firm hold on the drive,
shadows tousle her eye, chuck
foreboding. Dark waits out the routine
just around the corner of the shed,
behind the tree, the other side
of the truck. So much distraction
from the light; from night

so much poise. With the yard light
snubbed out, night ushers her into its home
at her own pace. Once she makes her peace
with night, she sees that darkness reveals
as much as it hides—
…….fenceline, fields, wood,
the Milky Way. Night absorbs her like the owl’s
equal. The slow harmonics of night touch her
like a bowed string. In the darkness,
she is the owl.

owl partially in shadows
Owl3 by Emily Krichbaum. CC license.

Barbara Saunier
Barbara Saunier has published in numerous reviews and journals, including Poet Lore, South Carolina Review, Spoon River, and Nimrod International. Her work placed first in the MacGuffin 16th National Poet Hunt. Since retiring from teaching at Grand Rapids (MI) Community College, she lives quietly with her horses, cats, and one good dog.

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