A Beginning
James Owens

                     —Lake Salamonie, Wabash, Indiana

Hieratic, the heron paces the shallows
like a serious pastor with hands folded

against his spine, meditating the lessons
of small fish, the choreography of frogs, T

and at my approach flaps from the water’s edge,
a poor construct of scrap board and paper

rigged with wire and pulled slapdash
into the wind, fighting for a moment

the weight of earth, heft of body, but rising,
easing now into grace between the wings.

I ask him disappearing to pray for us,
and turn, having tired of the wind.

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