Great Blue, How Do You Do?

[audio link]

Day’s light has returned
and my schedule beckons;
I have left my wooden watching place
to steal one last look at the lake
when from somewhere to the right
a great blue heron comes flapping,
landing on the nextmost pier
and clearly intending to get in
some fishing.  I can do nothing but watch
as he deliberates along lichen-spotted boards,
perhaps with a slight limp in his walk,
neck flexing rhythmically, sharp eyes
trained on the water
and the creatures within it.
Just when my attention wavers
he slips into the shallows
to emerge with a fish,
yellowish-colored and wriggling, grasped
in his bladelike bill.
Now my only choice is
to tarry here until he swallows it,
which takes a surprisingly long time.  Is it
a little too large for his comfort, or is he waiting
for its movement to slow, or just
aligning it to his gullet?
When at last he gulps it down
I am free to go, having missed one deadline
but as surely

Kathy Dodd Miner