Alien

Brendan Galvin Click to read more...

bgalvin-40Brendan Galvin is the author of sixteen volumes of poems. His collection Habitat: New and Selected Poems 1965-2005 (LSU, 2006) was a finalist for the National Book Award. His crime novel, Wash-a-shores, is available on Amazon Kindle.  The Air’s Accomplices, a collection of new poems was released from LSU last year.  His Egg Island Almanac will appear in 2017.

Until he turned his yellow glare
on me, the snowy owl was a two-foot
clump of snow in the wind-chopped
flow of sand and grasses beaten gold
behind the dunes, then a white lump
down off the taiga from Keewatin
or Ungava, part of an irruption fleeing
a crash in the lemming population,
hungry enough to risk the open
and daylight. There was little threat
here off the grid except from me.
He didn’t fly, as though to see
if I’d  phone him in to the bird club.
As if he had already somewhere
encountered a gaggle of them who took
the buzzing of a wren for rattlesnakes,
and a few who thought geese calling
far up the dark were wolves. Identical
in their club gear, scooting and tiptoeing,
crouched, adjusting scopes with jeweled
escarpments, they would check
this alien off on their digital lifelists,
then head back to the parking lot.
He didn’t fly, but instead leaned
at me, yellow eyes not beseeching
but weighing the moment.

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