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More than a Moment

I heard a heavy swoosh

from above and watched

as a barred owl flapped

its pterodactyl wings

with intimidating grace

and low-lying speed.

She landed with precision

upon a startled branch

I gasped and stared

she stood and gazed back.

She reminded me of

a nesting doll

all round and robed

regal and inquiring

a soft feathery shawl

wrapped around

her head and neck.

Some animals perceive

ongoing stares

as signs of aggression

but she seemed intrigued

so I continued staring

into the dark well of her eyes

and experienced myself

reflected back

in new and wondrous ways.

I then thought of babies

and how they look up

at their parents

with those thirsty gazes

wanting to be taken in

to be mirrored and met

how each interaction

helps them

to experience themselves

as someone who is here

and someone who is ...


- Lauren Taub Cohen

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