“Not A Creature Was Stirring”

Our gentle beasts had already
laid claim to their night:

The skinny grey fox taking her respite
in Lucy’s Dogloo, departing before

our 4:00 a.m. vigil for Lucy to monitor
outside and pee and read again

the rich scent of fox, her note of gratitude
for shelter and the water bowl shared.

The improbable opossum tightroping
the 2 x 4 top rung of our misnamed

security fence. And sometimes
a young coyote up from the creek

weaving our neighborhood secret
pathway. And raccoons. And, for a time,

a bobcat. And our great horned owl,
her nest exposed now high in the

December limbs of her pecan tree, this
Watcher with Lucy for uninvited creatures.

This early morning, all is still, the quiet music
of rainwater dripping from what leaves remain

on the trees, a soothing tapping on the bed
of yellow and brown, red and orange,

a wet glittering Lucy and I marvel at,
such quiet embraced in fog,

the squirrels and night birds tucked asleep,
no moon or stars except for those

come down as street lamps, their haloed
penumbra a gift Lucy acknowledges

by not barking, and I squat down to gather
the fur at her neck and whisper, “Good girl,”

grateful for this early Christmas gift
as our owl suddenly lifts into the

morning night, wings unfurled. May she
be an angel about to proclaim, “Peace,

Good will,” Lucy and I receiving her offering
willingly, if only for this sacred moment.