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Snowy Owl Goddess

Diane Wakoski on

Published in Poem Of The Day

Loudell, in a loose cotton dress
the color of delphiniums,
her hair, owl-feathered and quiet
as her naked toes in their pale sandals
is a friend from this harvest part
of our lives,
a Minerva woman
of herbs and salsas, hellebore, trumpet vines
and heirloom tomatoes. She glides
among us all,
carefully,
as if we too might be
live plants.

Almost in a trance from the heady
August evening, and perhaps from the corner
of my indolent eye, more absorbing the murmur
than watching, I registered
this Snowy Owl of a woman
as she stripped an olive through her raptor's mouth,
then delicately flung the pit
into the narrow garden verge next
to her deck chair.

Usually fastidious as a pharmacist
weighing crystals,
she surprised me in this seeming-act
of littering, until I realized "oh, the pit might take root,
grow!" It was her planter's instinct/
give every seed a place.

Sipping her chardonnay and, with one hand cracking
some pistachios to neatly deposit
their shells in a bowl with pits from olives
the rest of us had eaten,
she reminds me that even
with abundance
there need not be waste.

Every day the image, planted in the hull of
twilight conversation, visits me: A Snowy Owl
suddenly spreading her 10-foot wingspan
to cover this sacred earth,
its arcing motion, her arm unfolding into air
with the olive pit
bowling earthward.

About This Poem
"'Snowy Owl Goddess' is one of a number of meditations where I've attempted to rectify the actions or assuage the bad feelings lacing my history, wherein I've never been able to accept women as friends or appreciate their beauties. I have found that trying to fight my old angers and prejudices, I often am rewarded by seeing goddesses instead of enemies." -Diane Wakoski

About Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski is the author of "Bay of Angels" (Anhinga Press, 2014). She recently retired from her position as a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and lives in East Lansing, Mich.

*** The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

(c) 2014 Diane Wakoski. Distributed by King Features Syndicate

 

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