Between Autumn's whispered breeze, and naked arms of maple trees.
Under a waxing moonlit sky, my father heard a trebled cry.
A snarled bark split through the fog. He ordered "Son secure the dog."
I muzzled Duncan and shut the door, paws pounded at the floor.
I asked "What is it, has something died?" "Get my gloves." He replied.
"The leather ones and a light!" my pulse quickened that fevered flight.
I returned short out of breath, with gloves to work life or death?
The flashlight lit his fingertips, talons turned within his grip.
A rattled rustle of wire mesh, a creature clothed in feathered flesh.
Magnificent struggling coiled mess, a predacious prince nonetheless.
An Owlet young a fledge at best, in chicken wire from wings to breast.
Gently hands unwound, my father's breath a soothing sound.
The raptor resigned to its fate, allayed its fears for a freer state.
Gauntlet griping cradle touch, wild night beast my father's clutch.
There he held with one strong hand, our sentinel wings slightly fanned.
Low he said " take the other glove", its wide eyes cast light above.
He handed me without a word, this giant silent pensive bird.
Still it searched both our eyes, then the limbs and the skies.
Pinions poised set to spring, pounds of pressure on loft lift wing.
A second split in savage flight, born through the air into the night.
To reside alit in these, ancient bows of maple trees.