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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Snowy Egret—Avery Island, Louisiana

 

 

Luminous white apparition

teetering on the shoreline,

framed by Spanish moss

in molten Southern air,

balancing on blade thin legs

a runway model with her high heel

stuck in the mud.

 

Hailing from the land

of dusky pigeons

with city-sooted wings,

I reach for my camera,

sweat trickling between my shoulders

as I line up the image,

centering her in a perfect balance 

between river and sky.

 

“If you must,”

the regal bird seems to say,

bending her graceful neck

to coyly tuck her beak

under one wing

and winking at me with

one jet black eye

years before we

had ever heard of the

Deepwater Horizon

or tried to count its costs.

                      

                       Gloria Heffernan