Blue Heron by the Pond

With sunlight on his plumage, noble stance,
he’s fully grown, a handsome specimen,
ideally formed, by some design or chance—
exemplar of the avian citizen.

He’s quite alone; he wants no company
Immobile, his attention occupied
by possibilities I cannot see
below, he rules the grassy berm, with pride,

you’d say.  For him, it is a rippling prize,
well stocked with turtles, minnows, larger fish,
green water weeds and sheer-winged dragonflies—
and safe, fulfilling every angler’s wish.

His stillness interrupts the human day,
its moods, emotions, motives, what will come,
or came before, and all that flows away.
(It’s strange how emptiness can be the sum

of so much tumult.)  Suddenly, the spear
has struck; his gullet twists, until the small
commotion ends.  An image, now austere
again, endures; no further sign at all.

His day will pass thus, standing, stalking, brain
and eye on duty constantly, alert
yet unreflecting, destined to remain
objective, while we love, regret, and hurt.



Catharine Savage Brosman

Catharine Savage Brosman is professor emerita of French at Tulane University. She is author of Louisiana Creole Literature: A Historical Study and coauthor (with Olivia McNeely Pass) of Louisiana Poets: A Literary Guide, both published by University Press of Mississippi. She has also written numerous books of French literary history and criticism, three volumes of nonfiction prose, twelve collections of poetry, and her latest chapbook, Clara’s Bees, will appear on Little Gidding Press in the summer of 2021.


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