By Marilyn Zuckerman
Goodbye to the migrants from up north
— from that other latitude
where when food became scarce
they flew south to fend for themselves.
Two teenagers from the Arctic
roosting in trees
or sheltering against a brick chimney
Only the blazing yellow eyes
glaring down at us in disdain,
black and white barred feathers
standing out against the sky.
No more daily visits to the park
where folks loaded with binoculars
and scopes gathered together
to stare up in wonder at
this mythic animal,
this totem visitor,
— its rare appearance
met with reverence and awe…
and the ritual question of birders everywhere…
“Are they here today?”
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
Owl Fever 2
Yes, during the winter of 2012, Sunset Park became a place sacred to the two Snowy Owls who had alighted there to survive the winter. We made daily pilgrimages to the park and learned to greet others in owl-born friendliness.
Those who had seen one or the other or both, gave directions—which tree, which house or pointed to those who had gathered together with binoculars and scopes under a tree and were looking up.
We shared pictures and information…that they lived on the rats dwelling on the bank going down towards Shilshole, that they were fighting as adolescent males of many species are wont to do, probably for territory.
Finally there was only one left and now there are none.