Circle of Fifths


An owl whose face is shaped

into a white heart

may be the only gleaming thing


beneath the eave of the house.

Despite its luminance, it never

questions the dark, or asks why


it is dark. It merely repeats what must be

its first memory: the click

and shriek of the pulley that lowered it


from the moon into this black bay.

I know the body, moving forward,

is pulled continually back. Isn’t this


primitive? This bird, whose face

might have been drawn by a child,

can hear, at thirty yards, a mouse


stepping on hard ground.

It will fly at night over a black

marsh, then drop ten feet—the mouse


grasped with pointed accuracy.

When I was a child, my mother sat

on a piano bench and touched, quickly,


the middle key. Listen, she said,

C is both flat and sharp.

Ocean, I thought. End and beginning.


                                    —Melanie Carter

The Biology Club cordially thanks Dr. Melanie Carter for contributing this poem to The Neuron!


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One Response to “Circle of Fifths”

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