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The Barred Owl

By Amanda Roth

Over a bonfire and whiskey,

we tried to talk about our years

apart; the peculiar

color of individual dark.

Out of the night, a barred owl caught

our eye - white

feathers silent and slicing

through the conversations we

could not muster.

What did we expect? We never saw

the owl's eyes and afterward, when you paced

the yard, there were no feathers.

The fire went out and the dark

continued its work

of carving holes

in our faces.


Amanda Roth (she/her) is a poet whose work explores motherhood, embodiment, and the climate crisis. She is the author of the full-length collection, A Mother’s Hunger (2021) and is featured/forthcoming in Rappahannock Review, Marathon Literary Review, MAYDAY, Moist Journal, Blood Moon Poetry Press, and elsewhere. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram.


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