In The Night Still Dark

by Jim Zola

The leaves have drawn out their dying.
Just as I let myself linger.

I’m the grumpy General,
barking orders about gloves and hats.

Putting on a sock,
my son forgets what world he’s in.

I can’t forget. I keep
notes in my pockets.

The snowy owl peers down
the sweetgum branch,

a license plate reads soon.
Later, after the house settles

in its dark reluctance,
after the owl’s belly is full

of mouse, leaves start to crash
against roof and windows.

In The Night Still Dark first appeared on the Waters Poetry Workshop, then on the IBPC: New Poetry Voices, and can be found in Jim Zola’s book What Glorious Possibilities