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Morwen Owl’s Mourning December 20, 2010

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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I woke into the cold at 5 a.m.,
lay in the dark and thought:
damn pilot light’s gone out, again.
I fire up the space heaters, make coffee
& turn on the computer while I wait
for the black bite of a steaming cup.
Just another Monday morning
but the first thing I read is: Betz has died.

Her partner Morwen’s last post said
she was going to try to go to sleep,
Morwen the owl, up all night
posting songs on Facebook,
proudly proclaiming herself
a servant of the Goddess
to a world that turns askance
at the transgendered.

I don’t think the E.M.T.s take the body
& I imagine Morwen alone with Betz
in the flood- and storm-proof house
they built themselves after Katrina,
an armored tower to stand against
a dark age that would gladly
lash them both to the stake.

I light the white candle &
place it on the right &
I don’t know how to pray anymore
so I write this short poem in which
all the owls of New Orleans—
Morwen’s guardians and guides—
come under her eaves at dawn
to stand sentinel for the dead.