“Great Blue Heron” by Tom Sexton
Posted by PaulM
This poem by Tom Sexton will be incorporated into a work of public art on the Concord River Greenway, along with selections of writing by Henry Thoreau, Jack Kerouac, and Paul Tsongas in other artworks along the river path.—PM
Great Blue Heron
Far from the marsh and oxbows of Concord,
I stood on a bridge as the sun was coming up
watching a Great Blue Heron in the shallows
below an abandoned tannery that turned the water
different colors from dye that seeped from cribs.
It was the color of driftwood, motionless as stone,
ephemeral as the threads of cloud overhead
before light flooded the river and it disappeared.
I stood for a long time waiting for it to reappear
in the shallows again as if it were a god returned
to tell me something. A passing truck that shook
the crumbling bridge made me turn, and when
I looked again, it was there in the shallows
with a struggling fish in its long yellow beak.
—Tom Sexton (c) 2007
from “A Clock With No Hands” (Adastra Press)