The Wind Blows, The Ice Breaks: Poems of Loss and Renewal by Minnesota Poets
We arrived carrying our usual human trouble, hoping to walk
Those troubles deep into the forest, hoping
To leave them there. Not as burden for the forest, knowing
All too well the forest and its beautiful indifference.
At the dam I looked left to a hidden curve of creek,
Joe looked right to the still water past the small island.
Blue Heron lifted from the curve, her wingspan almost
Touched us, and she landed past the island, bowed to eat.
Right after my mother died, eight years ago, I saw Blue Heron
In this small valley, I knew then my mother had left
Her exhausted body behind and slipped into this new
Winged disguise. I was happy for my mother’s new life.
We’ve searched these eight years now for one more sight
of Blue Heron. And in our sorrows this day, three times
We saw her take flight, three times land, three times lean
Into shallow water for food and reflection. She’s gone,
I said to Joe. We carried the sight of her back to our city,
Our hearts strangely stirred and strangely at peace,
Her extended wings visible against the green of spring.