Owl, silent raptor, silhouetted against Flint Hills February moon,
bone moon, bitter month—when life force is infinitely fragile,
when cold turns blood to slow-moving slush, standing here
in these dark cedars—when even the hottest heart cools
with time’s creeping, the round of years, like the stars, our origins—
when we run into bare-branched, ice-trimmed night seeking love’s heat,
longing for flame inside, fleeing the one who’s fortified us in the cooling years—
when owl warns what we must do to dodge this silent ice-death. Breathe in
the prairie distance, the wide Kansas skies, the love beside us. Look up.
The blaze you seek spreads across the night sky.
— Linda Rodriguez