by Sarah Rossiter

That’s what they named him,
the barred owl who returns
each morning to perch on
the same branch of the white
pine, motionless until dusk
when he disappears into
the dark net of winter trees.

Those are the facts, but truth is
something else again, and each
day when I go to greet him,
I wonder what, if anything,
he’s seeing as his dark eyes
stare, unblinking, into mine.

A rhetorical question, I admit,
but the older I am, the less
I know, the less I need to know,
and as for truth, isn’t it enough
to simply be two living creatures
gazing, silent, eye to eye.

This Poem Appears In


Volume 27, Number 1 – March 2021



Sarah Rossiter, a graduate of Shalem Institute, has been working as a spiritual director for the past twenty-five years. Her publications include a novel, a short story collection, and a poetry chapbook. Her poems have appeared in journals and periodicals, including the Christian Century, Anglican Theological Review, First Things, Sewanee Review, and Presencia.


We're glad you're here.

Subscribe to SDI updates to receive a FREE eBook filled with contemplative wisdom!

Como regalo gratuito por registrarte para las actualizacione SDI, te ofrecemos un libro electrónico (eBook) de 59 páginas pleno de sabiduría contemplativa!

Úsalo como prefieras: 

  • para tu inspiración on your spiritual journey
  • para el placer de encontrar la sabiduría que se puede sentir en el cuerpo, la mente y el espíritu 
  • para un momento de reflexión 
  • como muestra de nuestro profundo respeto por quién eres y tu contribución a nuestro movimiento