The Heron, Certainly


this may be your last day alive.


that this might be so
may cause you to cry out

that you’ve been wronged.


you may feel wronged
without crying out,

thinking of how time has robbed you.


if it is your last day,

seeing this last great blue heron
(if indeed this is the last one, the final heron)
offers a chance to make up for
the other, unappreciated ones
you’ve passed.

You realize
how you’ve been prepared for this:


you must realize 

that this may be the last chance you have to be whole,
to choose to see the bird as if there have been
no others, to see the bird as if only you could name it,
as if this sight is only meant for you;
and though you know you are wrong about that,


you understand at last

that what joy there is to take from being
is yours alone to choose. The world doesn’t care
what you do. The heron doesn’t care if you pay
attention. You have never been wronged by time,
only by your rushing through it —

and certainly,

there is that heron to learn from

with its one legged stance
in a low deadfall, perhaps
aware of you but unafraid to 
stand still, eyeing the water,
striking now and then;

missing then, catching now, 
not always successful

but never, ever wronged.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “The Heron, Certainly

  • Eileen

    You have never been wronged by time
    only by your rushing through it.

    For me the heron has always symbolized a deep awareness, the strength and grace found in solitude and silence.

    One stayed alone near our house on the lake for two years. I miss it.

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