Egret in the ditch–
Beside the save-a-center
Sorry for your loss
Mary Oliver has this poem I adore about egrets. The speaker labors to get to a little pond where she sees three of them take off into a “shower of white fire.” I see egrets, one in particular, on the side of the highway I drive every Monday and Wednesday when I take my son to karate. And every time I see him, I think, you belong somewhere else. When I see you, I’m the one who should feel out of place. Egrets have always held a certain magic for me, and when I see this one, it’s like seeing Starry Night at a garage sale.
I’ve been working on a poem about that little guy. Can’t say it’s finished, but it’ll have to do. It’s a start.
In Mary Oliver’s poems
egrets are lights in dark but beautiful places
With great effort you get to behold them
I see them in ditches that
Separate highway from stripmall
Hunting (which is waiting)
patiently in shallow water
SUVs a blur of loud non-color
Suddenly stop beside them
But only for the light to change
What world did you come from?
What world have you outlasted?
Where the poet is out of place
Watching with the bruised and scratched limbs
That brought her to your
Vast expanse of lake or swamp or pond
She, not pausing in traffic
But in awe.