5. November on the Northern Prairies

As I sleep, the owls
fly and glide, cutting through
the brisk autumn air.
They do not sleep, they search
and seek as they swoop down
over frost-coated meadows and brittle fields
with wings looming wide.

All things fall away
before their sight
their eyes open wide like glass spheres:
the freezing moon that casts
a dark light, time and again.
They focus their glare
on shadows that stretch
from the leafless white birch
to the edge of the night.

My eyelids flutter with a dream of tobacco
smoldering in my sleep like a thick haze.
I open my eyes to a day
illuminated gray by a clouded sun.