Randall Mann
August 2012


The Heron

A pond the color of Oriental teas.
A heron refusing to look anywhere but east.

Mangroves flecked with a fire,
deep-set birches rife

with the wait for night. In stone,
the heron stares: the stoic tones

of the sky a storied procession of palms;
their red-tipped fronds, overhanging lamps.

Water-bird, it has been centuries since I felt
anything for you. You have been left:

look around. Why does the owl
rest on a goddess’s shoulder while you wade so low?



 From Complaint in the Garden. Copyright © 2004 by Randall Mann. Reprinted by permission of the author.