by Ellen E. Taylor
When Moon unmasks your naked face
And gilds your gun with diamonds green
I mark your progress from afar.
You stumble toward my roosting place,
Studying your tiny screen,
Tracking an artificial star.
You killed my wife some dawns ago,
Fooled by your telescopic sight:
She was a Northern Spotted Owl!
You threw her feathers in the snow
No measurements of weight or height:
Bars or spots, murder most foul!
Management stalks through the trees
Plying the Endangered Species Act
And shifting its dynamic core.
We will be gone when, by degrees
The soil will sicken, parched and cracked:
Then fire, desert, nothing more.
I, Owl, now curse your species’ birth:
No Permit comes from Mother Earth.