If they had been Roman, then someone would have
Died every night for months on end as the Boobook
Owl’s chime coursed through the evening like a late
Night telephone call’s bad news. Metronome regular,
The beat of its hoot shelled them relentlessly, enfilading
Their ears from the patch of remnant blue gums across
Waghorn Street. The book book of its mournful cry, as if
It was a trapped sailor in an air pocket of a capsized ship,
Beating a morse code tattoo with a leaden wrench. Inside
Its tree’s iron hull, the school ruler long bird received the
Suburb’s dying souls nightly, like an apprehensive mother
Drawing up her child’s medicine in a feather light syringe.
When he heard it, fear suckled their young son who forbade
The repetition of its summons & shrieked if he heard its call.