Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

122. Unhindered

Barred owl sings her low thrum
under chill spring moon

above gutter-rimmed gables and pin oaks,
mid-continent, midnight, mid-dream.

She sends each pulse
to throb in my middle-ear–

feather drawn across
this nerve,

this pulse-point, brace
of wrists, braced–

Barred owl eye wisens, wine-dark, aglow–
small planet in its orbit–

Pure motion, dropping through the branches from her heaven–

No entanglement is love.

— Karen Ohnesorge

Hear and see a barred owl.


Karen Ohnesorge has lived mostly in Kansas since 1986, having grown up near Oak Ridge, Tennessee— the Atomic City. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Spoon River Quarterly, Mudfish, Antioch Review, and Chain. She currently works as Associate Professor of English and Dean of Instruction at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas.

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