Two for Tuesday: Wings
What if a sleek, grey-feathered nuthatch
flew from a tree and offered to perch
on your left shoulder, accompany you
on all your journeys? Nowhere fancy,
just the brief everyday walks, from garage
to house, from house to mailbox, from
the store to your car in the parking lot.
The slight pressure of small claws
clasping your skin, a flutter of wings
every so often at the edge of vision.
And what if he never asked you to be
anything? Wouldn’t that be so much
nicer than being alone? So much easier
than trying to think of something to say?
~ Kirsten Dierking
Whenever we noticed her
standing in the stream, still
as a branch in dead air, we
would grab our binoculars,
watch her watching,
her eye fixed on the water
slowly making its own way
around stumps, over a boulder,
under some leaves matted against
a fallen log. She seemed
to appear, stand, peer, then
lift one leg, stretch it, let
a foot quietly settle into the mud
then pull up her other foot, settle
it, and stare again, each step
tendered, an ideogram at the end
of a calligrapher’s brush.
Every time she arrived, we watched
until, as if she had suddenly heard
a call in the sky, she would bend
her knees, raise her wide wings,
and lift into the welcome grace
of the air, her legs extending
back behind her, wings rising
and falling elegant under the clouds:
For more than a week now
we have not seen her. We watch
the sky, hoping to catch her great
feathered cross moving above the trees.
~ Jack Ridl
Music by Sleeping At Last, “Needles And Thread”
2 thoughts on ““their dark wings opening from their bright, yellow bodies; their tiny feet, all washed, clasping the air.” ~ Mary Oliver, from “Goldfinches””
I love herons.
Once we built a small pond and put fish in it. Then watched the heron fish all those fish out.
Another time I was sitting outside with my morning coffee when I heard all this racket. I watched as a family of three herons came into view, all clacking as if talking while they flew. (I initially thought “kingfishers.”
I don’t see them often here where I live, but sometimes I see them near the creek on the way to school. Once in a while I see smaller herons fly through here. Not much water right here.
I, too, love herons and egrets. So majestic, but they can be funny, too. Lots of them in this area, but not near my house.