Great Blue Heron by Burgi Zenhaeusern

For many years I’ve kept a postcard
of the bird alighting on a rippled surface,
wings a royal spread, curved neck,
beak a graceful blade, slender legs,
as bookmark, prayer at times, a yearning
for freedom, or elegance, or both, until I saw

a Great Blue Heron below the roar of Great Falls
land on a rock with a solemn flap,
saw it tense up, then pierce the swirling fury
in one deft plunge, throw back its head, and lift
the rapier mandibles with their twitching prey –
lunge after lunge against an ever urging need.

Burgi Zenhaeusern lives in the Washington, DC, area. Her poems have appeared in Gargoyle, Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Loch Raven Review, Heron Tree, and elsewhere. She has co-edited the translations of the forthcoming anthology of DC area Latinx poets “Knocking On the Door of the White House”.