Lorena Alvarado

mama found you in the alley


a baby owl
at the back entrance.
startled, she gathered stones
convinced of your foul nature,
as if someone sent you
to cast spells

your round eyes
were also terrified

father, delighted, picked you up
held you, to mama’s horror
I don’t want that thing here
And locked you in a cage
Both stared
Neither with compassion
with desire and with dread
I’m going to sell it to my compadre
How much do you think he’ll give me
for this

and so you were gone
who knows where, who knows
for how much.
did you go and meet
others. raise chicks.
Eat eyes, rodents.
Who knows if you were a woman,
a girl, and ancestor beggar, her brother
his mother, my sister
or just an owl
with perfect vision


Lorena Alvarado