A Poem for the Blue Heron
Now the blue heron
wades the cold ponds
In the gray light his hunched shoulders
are also gray.
He finds scant food – a few
numbed breathers under
a rind of mud.
When the water he walks in begins
turning to fire, clutching itself to itself
like dark flames, hardening,
I do not remember who first said to me, if anyone did:
Not every thing is possible:
some things are impossible,
and took my hand, kindly,
and led me back
from wherever I was.
the heron lifts his long wings
leisurely and rows forward
into flight. He
has made his decision: the south
is swirling with clouds, but somewhere,
fibrous with leaves and swamplands,
is a cave he can hide in
Now the woods are empty,
the ponds shine like blind eyes,
the wind is shouldering against
the black, wet
bones of the trees.
In a house down the road,
as though I had never seen these things–
leaves, the loose tons of water,
a bird with an eye like a full moon
deciding not to die, after all –
I sit out the long afternoons
drinking and talking;
I gather wood, kindling, paper; I make fire
after fire after fire.
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