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Monday, February 23, 2009

In the Eye of the Heron

In the eye of the heron
on the bridgerail so close to the car
we could almost disturb with our hands his circle
of awareness we are
an object
gliding harmlessly past

He wafts to the stream
where we soak in the ice of the mountain
And I stare at the eye not staring at me
And he sees
a scrap of motion

Dead, he seems to me.
Dead in his eye,
a machine—

neither food nor threat
we do not exist
for this unflappable bird.

grey on the edge of all this commotion
grey on the rocks beside the black trees
close almost close enough
to touch
shadow enough to be

finds nothing, launches
his great grey bulk, shark of the air—why should he seem so graceful—his
enormous wings, silent as his eye, raise him
above, just above, our heads, and carry him, a line
drawn down the center of the stream, around
the corner
out of sight
of the dozens floating, dozens splashing,
one woman bent forward on strong stalks
washing her long blonde hair.

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