“The Owl Guide” my twelfth ekphrastic response for National Poetry Month prompted by another painting showing the vibrancy of Marcel Herms.
The Owl Guide
As you lie in that hospital bed unconscious
In a maybe
What more can you do,
What more should you have done
As a young girl, excited and unaccustomed to city-ways, gallop your dads milk horse
away from your white home,
through downtown Sunderland streets
where this morning it trotted
Dads milkcart rattle on a milkround.
Folk scatter, run scared.
A bobby captures your reins.
Arrested and thrown in prison
with the rapists, killers and paedophiles.
sob yourself to sleep.
Shortly after midnight awake
to flap, flap flap near the door,
stood wide open. You softly
step out, close the door behind you.
See an owl,
perched on a wooden fence,
who awaits your escape.
The owl flies in front of you,
guides you past bobbies,
through dark streets, till you come
to a saddled horse and a bundle of fresh clothes.
You mount, the owl pulls the horses head
Towards the white dairy farm
then leaves, as it must as the owl
in a maybe
Is your future daughter who dies before you do.
What more can you do.
What more should you have done.