English poetry

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The Woods At Night

The binocular owl,
Fastened to a limb
Like a lantern
All night long,

Sees where all
The other birds sleep:
Towhee under leaves,
Titmouse deep

In a twighouse,
Sapsucker gripped
To a knothole lip,
Redwing in the reeds,

Swallow in the willow,
Flicker in the oak –
But cannot see poor
Whippoorwill

Under the hill
In deadbrush nest,
Who’s awake, too –
With stricken eye

Flayed by the moon
Her brindled breast
Repeats, repeats, repeats its plea
For cruelty.


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Poem The Woods At Night - May Swenson