Epistemology With Owls

Do we only find 

what we’re looking for? 


Of late, all I seem to find 

is that you are not quite here. 


The other night the owl 

went unseen until the dog 


rushed up to it and then, 

wings beating magnificently,  


flew to the nearest branch 

to peer down at us, woman and dog.  


What reason did the owl have 

to be there at the edge  


of the park, wings silver and wide  

in the darkness? 


You see, my father handed me 

The Blue and Brown Books 


one Christmas that was like this. 

He never told me three  


of Wittgenstein’s 

brothers committed suicide. 


He never told me anything 

about families or patterns of inheritance.  


Never said a word about the distrust 

of life that violence breeds, 


never said there might be owls 

in the darkness or that 


you are only as alone as you think  

you are.  



Author: Kasey Johnson 
Email: kejohnson@pnwu.edu 
Author Bio: Kasey Elizabeth Johnson is a third-year medical student. She is interested in the intersection of race, class, gender, mental health, and addiction in literature and in healthcare education and practice. Her writing has been published in Bodega Magazine, Bone Bouquet, Corium Magazine, Paper Nautilus, Prick of the Spindle, Saranac Review, among others. She holds an MA from the University of New Mexico and a BA from Reed College. 


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