In forty below wind
a proud saw-whet owl
stares in my window
perched on the deck rail
eyes like meteors,
wild as the aurora.
Tame in disposition,
hunters tell of its
guileless trust,
so friendly
it has become endangered.

In the barn later
it hunkers on the floor,
eyes closed
forehead on the straw,
sad as a cold derelict
on a rain soaked bench.
It does not flee
the dog’s inquisitive nose,
nor fight our gloves.
Inside, propped dejectedly in a box
it shuns tidbits of venison
beaten egg, water, broth,
but accepts affection
and croons softly
when I sing a lullaby
its velvet feathers
no weight in my hand.

Off the record,
Fish and Wildlife tell us
not to tell them.
Policy would make them destroy it.
One eye swollen shut,
the other baleful,
losing its power, its light,
it dies anyway,
victim of the cold,
or of its nature,
or perhaps our cat.
Its fierce stare,
those eyes of orange fire
brilliant as any sun,
haunt me for weeks.
The owl looked into my soul
for those few seconds
to remind me, perhaps,
of the fine edge
between a life tangled full
of the mundane
and the magical
and the still blankness of death,
as faceless as a snow bank.

~ Dymphny Dronyk

Dymphny Dronyk is a writer, artist, mediator and mother. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money (journalism, corporate writing) and for love (poetry, fiction, drama, mystery novels) for over 25 years. After years of rambling on an eclectic career path (camp cook, editor, waitress, photographer), her gypsy spirit took root in the Peace Country and her energy is now directed towards raising her 3 children and running her business (Dynamic Data Complete Emergency Response Planning).

Her first volume of poetry, Contrary Infatuations, was published by Frontenac House as part of Quartet 2007. Dymphny is currently serving as President of the Writers Guild of Alberta.

2 Responses to “Extinction”

  1. Yikes! This is pretty powerful stuff. It absolutely wrapped me up in the narrative.

  2. beautiful and touching, and like many works that affect me, made me too sad to read it over again.

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