The Owl on the Fence

She sits with focused purpose.

Her tail is long, too long.

Her head bobs slightly with the breeze,

an odd movement.

The rest of her is still, too still.

She lingers longer than I expect.

But I believe her.

I think she is a living, breathing warrior.

But she is here to deceive.

That’s her one ambition.

She has no blood, no bones, nor stomach,

no hunter’s vision of mice and squirrels.

Hollow she sits,

a coquette of sorts,

to convince birds

that danger lies within her lifeless beak.

What need has she of a heart and lungs

when vacant plastic is enough?

We the deceived, the birds and I,

with our protoplasmic brains

are no match for her clever ways.

First published in Door is a Jar winter 2017