Close to midnight I heard an owl.
I was lying in bed, nearly asleep
when I heard the distinct hoo-hooing low notes,
a barred owl. I dragged myself from the mattress
and went to my balcony in the dark,
waited to hear it again, and I did,
not too close, just distant enough —
maybe half a block away in a Douglas fir,
or cedar, I'm guessing. Lovely, ethereal,
Seemed to be the sound
of being alone in the dark, no stars.
The city asleep, or nearly there.
Not so much for me after that,
yet worth the interruption, because
in all the years I've lived in this house
I've not ever heard an owl
from my bed at midnight.