Ardea Hero­dias


Line of In­dia ink against wa­ter

that the wind per­ceives as fixed

in place

sig­na­ture of black on blue

and green, re­flected trees

Ev­ery­thing in this space moves,

ex­cept you

and gur­gles. Leaves, the breeze, a

lit­tle slap of waves

against in­scrutable an­kles

The slip of a fish and your neck ex­tends

too in­stan­ta­neous to be grace­ful

to hu­man eyes

and pad­dles held aloft

above wa­ter lilies

Against glare and weeds and

golden browns that hide their


this is your ex­per­tise

You move but set no sound

or move­ment go­ing

so that we can’t be­lieve

you’re flesh, quite

Un­til you gather your dis­dain—

ow­ing to your age, the spec­ta­cle

of the fam­ily watch­ing—

and fly out

over the bay, a thun­der­storm

of speak­ing wings.

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