The Great Blue Heron

Lucinda Watson

He flew in under the cover of darkness,
folding his wings in an envelope of marsh and beach grass,
waiting to allow me
the pleasure of his return
until morning.

In the dampness of November
the heron’s message of surprise
is a secret gift I tell no one about.
The heron knows me like no other
and he returns just when the night seems too long.

As I sip my coffee in my slippers on the lawn
the heron watches:
Deciding when he will show his great deep beak
and his broad blue wings above me,
deciding when he will fish for me
or reveal a sliver of sun on this gloomy day in the beginning of winter.

The heron knows he belongs south but he is a loyal bird.
Refusing to take to the air on time,
he is my guardian: my winged seraph,
the keeper of my pond there in the early morning
with the steam of the earth raising her young. The
heron is the first one who knows I need him.