By Patrick T. Reardon
Great blue heron, white in high green,
folds on self, forward falls toward water,
clear space, wingspan wind-catch, rise in flight.
I am semi-trailer truck in someone else’s tender canoe
— steep banks through suburbs, six crows
from one bank to the other frenzy a hawk,
mud raccoon handprints,
duckweed green scum.
I will never return to this river.
Forty days and nights on
rising waters, they alone
kept the breath of life in
their nostrils across the face
of the seas. The raven, gone,
and then the low pigeon,
back, with green hope.
These words written
on back of page proving evolution,
going back to start, original sin
— as if the heron were showing off,
as if God seeded evil,
as if Jesus was a mutation,
as if pain meant,
as if anyone could make me understand anything.
Here, twenty years after heron’s fall,
bird, instruct me, odd, tall, thin, long creature.
Explain cell division, tock-tick and falling to fly,
neither evil nor good.
Patrick T. Reardon
This poem originally appeared at The Write Launch on 2.1.21.