Last Night Five Young Owls
came sidestepping onto a high limb
to test their question on the moon,
the river under blue light, and the clouds
that cluttered the hills around the horizon.
Near where I stood about
to pour my cold coffee down the bank,
some bird settling for the night, and perhaps older
than the quintet, heard their choir. I could not think
why he seemed so restless up there,
unless he heard them singing his theme,
the moon's dissolution, the river's disappearance
in air. But I should not see so much in their
question, the hollow night,
the open nest, or glowing dilated eyes.