Black Marsh Eclogue
Although it is midsummer, the great blue heron
holds darkest winter in his hunched shoulders,
those blue-turning-gray clouds
rising over him like a storm from the Pacific.
He stands in the black marsh
more monument than bird, a wizened prophet
returned from a vanished mythology.
He watches the hearts of things
and does not move or speak. But when
at last he flies, his great wings
cover the darkening sky, and slowly,
as though praying, he lifts, almost motionless,
as he pushes the world away.
From A Dragon in the Clouds (Broken Moon Press, 1989). Copyright © 1989 by Sam Hamill. Used with the permission of Eron Hamill.