Carrier of Souls

There is an owl who sits
on the shoulder of every man who takes his guns
into a nightclub, superstore, or anywhere
that life is for the taking.
When the smoke
has cleared,
when the survivors
are thankful, the owl
begins his work.
Mice run in all
earthly directions. The night sky is a darkness
salted with stars so cold a soul
can be preserved among them
and the owl’s duty is to transport each
and every one
while the Earth asks
why? The owl just picks up what outlives
the body and carries
it away from further harm until
back in his native night he takes
the mouse he takes
just because it’s there.

About the Poem

Between the news of another shooting and my listening out for the owl close to home at night, here is a comparison of two very different motivations for taking life.

About the Author

David Chorlton lives near South Mountain in Phoenix where he writes, occasionally paints, and appreciates the birds that inhabit the area. “Poetry Mountain” is his newest book.

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