American Life in Poetry: Column 264

Wendy Videlock lives in western Colorado, where a person can stop to study what an owl has left behind without being run over by a taxi.



The Owl

Beneath her nest,

a shrew’s head,

a finch’s beak

and the bones

of a quail attest


the owl devours

the hour,

and disregards

the rest.


American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.