The Visit by Sam Larkin

The Visit
(© sam larkin, november 3, 2006)

One night three days into apples
We had a visitor come
When all lights were gone
And with almost no sound
Through an open pantry window
And the screen with a rusted hole

He winged in for breakfast
As the moon burped, stalled, and
Climbed out of a tangled cloud-knot

He set the clock’s heart thumping
And two kinds of light burned in his eyes
The one that sees in the dark
And the one that makes him an owl

After a bit of a tour
He touched down on the piano
Playing the middle C and D together

Seconds later there was a soft thump
As he nailed the mouse who had
Run worried out onto the rug

When he lifted off with his
Hot little cargo he flashed silently
Through the dining room and kitchen
To the pantry as if he lived here
Departing as he had come

The moon came out of the misty bushes
Of the sky for a wide-eyed look
But no one else had seen a thing

In the morning I went and checked
The screen over the pantry window
It wasn’t rusted and there was no hole
No surprise there

So it was a dream except
Out of a lasting curiosity or remembrance
I got up on a chair to examine the top of
The tall music cabinet beside the piano

It needed dusting, and there
Written like kilroy
Was the three-clawed imprint
Of a large bird’s foot

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