Published on Academy of American Poets (

If the Owl Calls Again

at dusk from the island in the river, and it's not too cold, I'll wait for the moon to rise, then take wing and glide to meet him. We will not speak, but hooded against the frost soar above the alder flats, searching with tawny eyes. And then we'll sit in the shadowy spruce and pick the bones of careless mice, while the long moon drifts toward Asia and the river mutters in its icy bed. And when the morning climbs the limbs we'll part without a sound, fulfilled, floating homeward as the cold world awakens.


Copyright © 1993 by John Haines. Reprinted from The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.


John Haines

John Haines was the recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Congress.

Date Published: 1993-01-01

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