The Owls


By Debbie Hall

They land on the chimney top at dusk:
The tallest—the mother—with a dead rabbit
dangling from her feet. Two large juveniles,
all need and demand, crashing in,

then a third, small and silent, lands
below the others. Huddled against the chimney,
she listens to the tearing of flesh
and waits for cast-off bits of muscle and sinew.

The sky darkens and coyotes cry their shrill songs.
The mother owl chatters in some secret avian code,
sails off the roof on a warm draft of wind.
Fully sated, the two bigger ones follow

in a sweeping flourish of feathers.
Her outline barely visible now, the little one
drifts off the roof like a whisper
and disappears into night’s deep cavern.


Debbie Hall’s poetry has appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, City Works Literary Journal, A Year in Ink, Servinghouse Journal, Swamp Lily Review and Tuck Magazine. She recently received an honorable mention in the Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and just completed an MFA at Pacific University.