(for the poet Will Nixon)
Whenever we left your red cottage, we drove
past snowy egret on lake close by.
Each ride my heart started to open.
Each time I vowed I’d photograph startle
of bird in light.
When I was a girl in Sixties’ Catskills
egrets didn’t appear to us, I half-cried.
You, younger, came when the birds came back.
Last day you flew us by August lake
in your silvery car, egret perched
on branch crooked up from sky
in water, neck long and elegant …
beak flame … brushstrokes
of stillness on stillness
like ancient Chinese scroll,
my favorite kind.
I never captured bird with camera.
I let it be.
White egret feathering
Blood Moon heart.
Susan Deer Cloud by the Willowemoc River