I said Do Not Disturb! Oh no, now you've done it, Scowl the Scary Screech Owl will bite you!

(Seriously, though, isn't he enough to scare away any potential early-morning visitors or housekeepers? It's a door card from the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana in the '40s. )

Ode to Scowl the Scary Screech Owl
By Becky
With apologies to Rafael Hernandez*

Sleeping in the tree is
The black scary screech owl
The chipmunks and squirrels
I don't want anyone to wake me up
Because I'm very tired
I had a long flight here
Nobody speaks English
The restaurant ran out of plantains
And I drank too many Mojitos at the bar
Silencio, do not disturb
The housekeepers or the early morning bongo players
I don't want you to wake me up
For if you wake me up
The scary screech owl will bite you
And you will die

*composer of "Silencio" featured on "Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer," by Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo, on which this poem is based.

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