Art of Poetry’s Kelly DeMaegd reads her poem in front of the Wink Gaines photograph that inspired her work at the event on December 12, 2016. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.
after “Great Blue Heron Profile” by Wink Gaines
Assessing damage after a storm
I notice her at swollen river,
one pier over, dressed in shadow
blue, eyes, marble gems.
Her elegant legs lightly stride
weathered planks, stopping
at each moored boat. Stretching
to full height, then stooping low,
she studies barnacled bows,
canvas covers, south-facing prows
in perfect mockery
of my routine. Flapping slowly,
she surface skims, rises,
boasting feather-glint of silver,
writhing trout tightly taloned
on her twilight drift and swoop
to rookery, a brood to tend.
All I manage to mimic
is her hunched shoulders,
longing for flight
to a place I’ve never been.