background image
Heron Totem
Up the long beach, a fl ock of sanderlings
Will swoop past a ridge of ocean roaring near
(Their white chests fl ashing), tilt and disappear,
Or pelicans line up, dark, heavy things,
And form one body with a dozen wings
Approaching me head-on, or godwits fl are
Warm cinnamon wing-linings on the gray air
When they veer off in the big fl ocks winter brings.
I love them all, and most this homely one:
Color of driftwood, among the bustlers, the wary
Swervers, he leans inquiringly, and waits.
Slow, frail, ungainly, set for the long run,
Silent with hope, by nature solitary,
He picks his spot, stands still, and concentrates.