Howl – Lisa Kelly

Howl

Brecean, Brittany, 11 September 2021

They told me they found two owls, 
two dead owls, and they supposed 
the owls must have flown down   
the chimney and the owls had no way  
of knowing how to fly back up  
the chimney into the night sky.  
They died a desiccated death 
and they told me if I’d seen the owls, 
I would have cried. The owls were  
barn owls, beautiful and the extraordinary  
thing was the weight of the owls, 
incredibly and unexpectedly light. 
They put the owls in a bin bag  
because owls are a protected species  
and this is what the town hall said  
must be done and to drop off the owls  
at the town hall. I wanted to know  
more about the owls and asked  
if they died together but no 
one owl died at one end of the loft 
and the other owl not especially nearby.

Lisa Kelly’s first collection, A Map Towards Fluency, (Carcanet) was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Memorial Poetry Prize 2021. She is co-editor of What Meets the Eye, (Arachne Press) an anthology of poetry and short fiction by UK D/deaf writers.