Though we’ve never heard the word before,
Dad calls this fort we’ve built “The Delf.”
It’s just three two-by-fours in branches,
Covered in thick plywood. And I learned
A second word today from Dad
When a beam fell, hit his head, and
“Shit!” slipped from his mouth. He points out
White pellets on the ground below.
He says owls vomit
Out their food each night—
It comes out white.
I perch, a little owl,
Tasting my new words.
About the Author
Timothy E.G. Bartel
Timothy E. G. Bartel is a husband, writer, and educator from Whittier, California. He currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he conducts postgraduate research on Henry Longfellow. His work has recently appeared in Christianity and Literature, Relief, and Saint Katherine's Review.