White bird

In morning sun
you come —
proud white breast
shoulders white
but bronzed,
blaze freckled
in the rising sun.
Stepping delicately,
dipping your lifted foot
in the shallows,
lifting and dipping
ankle deep —
all the while
head bent on long neck
watching there
in the water
the swirl of cloud
risen on even
the most delicate step.

How could I ever come to you
no duck
no goose
no cormorant or loon
to float, unmoving
yet moving still
up to your side,
wrap my wing around you
hold your breast to mine
your snowwhite breast
white as summer clouds
as windwhipped wavecaps
as churn of crashing breakers.

Duck or goose
cormorant or loon
I’d have no hands to hold you,
no lips

If I threw off everything
bared my body
to the red rising sun
hid nothing
then would you know me,
me, too
wading ankle deep,
head bent, watching
with each delicate step
the swirl of cloud
risen

Would you let me come—
me too, risen, for you?

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