Thanks to a friend, I just watched an amazing video about animal communication. Then I remembered this poem:
You are nearing the land that is life.
You will recognize it by its seriousness.
Driving my bad news the back way home
I know I’m in the land that is life
when I reach my favorite stretch of road—fields
flat and wide where corn appears soon after
planting the soil tilled, night-soaked
and crumbled into fists.
Ferguson’s barn is somewhere
at the end of this long arm of tar
and as I near it, something grazes the back
passenger-side door, luffs parallel to my car—
a huge owl on headlight spray floating,
holding night over the hood to see
if this moving thing is real, alive,
something to kill—then gliding in
close as if to taste glass.
The road levitates, buffeted on a surf
of light, the fog-eaten farm disappearing
as I ride into starlessness, cells conspiring
so I am bright-flecked and uplifted—is this
what it feels like to be chosen—to be taken
under the wing of something vast
that knows its way blindly?
I can’t remember how I heard of Ms. Wyrebek, but I bought her book, Be Properly Scared. All I know about her is that she had a long and debilitating illness and that I like this poem.