The Blue Heron

by Rob Couteau

Published in:
Rockhurst Review. spring 2010
(MO: Kansas City)

The blue heron

A blue heron stares
then glides away,
barely flapping its wings.
It sails just inches
above the water
till it reaches
the opposite shore.

It’s a sunny day on campus.
Now and then,
a gaggle of girls pass
and cackle louder
than the geese.
I could speak with them
for a billion years
yet five minutes beside the heron
eye to eye
in preternatural
would deliver me
to the truth.

But the heron knows better
than to let anyone near;
it takes off
well before my approach.
While the girls and geese
seem unfazed,
allowing me to stand beside them
before appearing startled,
the instincts of the heron
are made of finer stuff.
He knows
I carry death;
he smells it
even from the far shore
as he gobbles a fish
and lives
in wary celebration
of yet another day.


 fine art

Updated: 13 June 2011 | All text Copyright © 2011 | Rob Couteau | key words: poems about the blue heron