Lisa Stice – Dissection of an Owl Pellet

Dissection of an Owl Pellet

Upon examination, we have found
the owl swallowed the mouse whole.

Here, the spine still connects to the skull,
and the ribs surround an emptiness so small

it is difficult to imagine lungs or heart, but
we know they were there at some point.

My daughter draws a skeletal diagram—
she stands the rodent on its thin legs

and segmented toes. This way, it almost
looks alive although hollowness and lines.



Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse. She is the author of two full-length collections, Permanent Change of Station (Middle West Press, 2018) and Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016), and a chapbook, Desert (Prolific Press). While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. You can learn more about her and her publications at,, and

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