for my Mother
After the failed attempt to kill herself,
She gaveled up a parliament of owls,
Repurposing every cabinet and shelf
To house her blinkless treasury of fowls.
What comfort came from a gross of hooded eyes
Strewn through her home, I could not even guess.
Yet urgently she unboxed every prize
And for it found some suitable recess.
As executor, I audited the owls.
Seventy-two, my final reckoning.
There was one I liked. He'd pivot in his cowl
Like a startled monk, when shook. His shuttering
eyes, like cameras, seemed to document the night.
Her night, I thought: her burden, and her flight.