"Wise Owl"

How to Build an Owl


1. Decide you must.

2. Develop deep respect

   for feather, bone, claw.

3. Place your trembling thumb

   where the heart will be:

   for one hundred hours watch

   so you will know

   where to put the first feather.

4. Stay awake forever.

   When the bird takes shape

   gently pry open its beak

   and whisper into it: mouse.

5. Let it go.

(first appeared in Poetry Flash)


Kathleen Lynch writes poetry, fiction, and essays. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area where she serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Literary Arts at San Jose State University.

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