The screech owl is moaning tonight as Mars
Moors over the walnut trees. Its call whittles
Away the dusk and the day’s shavings drift
Between leaves then sink to the grass
And become crickets. This small hilly town
Is full of vultures and most of them sit quietly
On the cell tower on the highest hill here
As below them the volume ramps up.
Above my head the loblolly pines reach out
awkwardly to the night like lonely brothers
missing the sisters they stopped talking to back
when nobody could be trusted. Vultures
Can be trusted to be exactly what they are.
The cell tower they gather on is in a park
Called Reservoir Park, which, being on top
Of a hill, has no reservoir and is the one park
In town which does not flood during heavy rain.
The screech owl doesn’t so much screech
As it makes you want to find it, and not being
Able to find it makes you want to screech.
This small hilly town. A memory from this morning
Of the low sun emerging through the center
Of the moonflower. The loblolly pines shrugging
As if they don’t want what they want. The crickets
Playing late summer’s encore over and over. Unseen
Sources of sound and light like a reservoir
For my unfocused thoughts, like a small flower
So brilliant its edges seem a new kind of call
From a small owl announcing summer’s over.