The binocular owl,

like a lantern
all night long,
sees where all
the other birds sleep:
towhee under leaves,
titmouse deep
in a twighouse,
sapsucker gripped
to a knothole lip,
redwing in the reeds,
swallow in the willow,
flicker in the oak –
but cannot see poor
whippoorwill
under the hill
in deadbrush nest,
who’s awake, too –
with stricken eye
flayed by the moon
her brindled breast
repeats, repeats, repeats its plea
for cruelty.

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