Snowy Owl
by Joan Mazza

He sits on a post, no longer a juvenile, all
white, no black flecks among his feathers.
Yellow eyes closed, he could be meditating,
praying, dozing, or cataloguing his wisdom
for a tract to sell. Good businessman,
he feigns interest in the lives and deaths
of humans near, takes credit for prophecy.
Not Athena in one of her disguises, but
catcher of mice and rats, alert for prey,
ready to swoop down on any sitting duck.

Silent in flight, swift and clear sighted,
he hides his talons with feathers, poses
docile as a fleece hat left by a child.
He faces the sun, ready to fly and hunt,
no symbol of your future evolution.


Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist and psychotherapist, and has taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self. Her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, The MacGuffin, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia.