The water holds the light the sky has lost
as Giovanna, the tall gondolier,
poles her fares neatly through the central arch
of the old Bridge of Quests and Lost Replies.
The girl is laughing, her companion smiles
as silent wings come sweeping overhead
a great white owl, near shining in the gloom,
heads for St Cryptodon's tall gothic spire.
The half-masked man asserts that owls are luck
his girl smiles back at him, his luck is in,
and Giovanna knows, but does not say
that owls are often sent with messages
and someone in St Cryptodon's tonight
will burn their candle late deciphering
what someone in the Forest Kingdom sent
and balances will tilt—she rests her pole
and drops her passengers at Lion Bridge
where music, mint, and change hang in the air.