Heron Dances

Heron Dances Over the World

Even you’re not watching
as you spread your black tattered wings
and step among the colors of the physical world—
spindly legs conjure the symbol of infinity
in red earth, in fresh blue snow and white mist.

Endangered islands bloom, the wetland fills
with mountain shadow. In a parallel universe
your reflection moves to its inner calling,
to folded granite, music of the waterfall.

You live as hidden origami, with creases
and abandon, intricate patterns that resist
the receding shore. You circle like an equation
neither eyes nor lips can touch—motion that can’t be solved
or written on the tongue. You do not stop to preen
among the battered dunes.

Your cry wrings iron from irony,
recalls the silent bells, laments the love
I’ve forgotten. You breathe closer to the swaying aspen
than to the orphaned moon and the tide’s pull.

In this dance you create like a beetle
your own being. You become possibility.

William O’Daly

Published in Yarrow and Smoke, Folded Word Press, 2018