egretThe great egret watches
stalking the black water
waiting for what to rise
through its reflection.

White, wading longnecked
in the still black water,
white as dream, as fear
and waiting for what to rise.

Yellow-blade beak, neck
an arrow poised in the bow
ready to strike the newborn,
the hopeful, the rising dream.

But oh the grace, the beauty
of the pure white strike,
stabbing what — the newborn
drawn up from murk to light.

And what, looking up from the black,
the murk of thick still water
up to the far blue sky
seeing that cloud dream egret.

The white beauty
unmoving arrow
in the unreachable blue–

Rise to it, you newborn,
rise from the fertile murk,
the darkness, you hopeful,
rise to it — let it strike.

Yes, the yellow beak’s blade
is sharp, the point
when it pierces
will make you writhe

but don’t fear it,
you newborn
you dreamer.
Before you know,

you’ll be gobbled down
gone in darkness,
and when that great bird
bends her legs, rises

into flight, you too
will be brilliant-white,
an arrow no longer poised,
set awing in that far fierce blue.

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