“The Snowy Owl,” a poem by Tara Campbell

Poetry: Tara Campbell

The Snowy Owl

The snowy owl said to the sad little girl
I can send more love your way;
the snowy owl said to the lonely girl
I can give you a reason to play.

The snowy owl said to the nervous young woman
I can solve your problems, dear;
the snowy owl said to the fearful young woman
I can sweep your worries clear.

The snowy owl said to the hardworking wife
I can make your burden lighter;
the snowy owl said to the exhausted wife
I can make your future brighter.

The snowy owl said to the powerful man
I’ll enrich your life in many ways;
the snowy owl said to the mighty man
I’ll gift you more auspicious days:
Play with your girl, leave the young miss in peace,
recognize all your wife does for you.
This will lighten your heart and ease your mind—
a brighter future will come to you.

The powerful man shot the wise snowy owl
and hung a sign in red, white, and blue:
“I shot this snowy owl and mounted it here
‘cause no one tells me what to do.”

Tara Campbell is a writer, teacher, Kimbilio Fellow, fiction co-editor at Barrelhouse, and graduate of American University’s MFA in Creative Writing. In addition to Heavy Feather Review, previous publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Wigleaf, Booth, Strange Horizons, and CRAFT Literary. She’s the author of a novel and four multi-genre collections including her newest, Cabinet of Wrath: A Doll Collection. She teaches writing at venues such as American University, Johns Hopkins University, the Writer’s Center, Catapult, and the National Gallery of Art.

Check out HFR’s book catalog, publicity list, submission manager, and buy merch from our Spring store. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.