|Carolyn Mary Kleefeld|
|Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts, has a new collection of poems, White Fire published by Ping-Pong Free Press|
The Omen (must be) from the Great Blue Heron in my Backyard
My mother says it must be an omen, but of what, she doesn’t know.
Terminal cancer, she’s become a shaman of what’s between the sea and the landing.
We’re binge-watching Breaking Bad. “All doctors want us to radiate.”
“Fade away and radiate,” a Blondie song from the 80s pipes through my head.
She’s home now, not a metaphor, but a three hours drive from here
into a polluted wasteland of petroleum, pesticides and tumbleweeds.
A place where a great blue heron would never live, only migrate through.
My house is on a creek that trickles–sometimes torrents–to the ocean’s maw.
Now it’s meandering. The bathymetry has changed since last year:
two trees fell in my yard, on Easter a spruce crashed the trellis, shaved the cherry.
When the cottonwood smashed the tea roses, they were un-thwarted.
Lots of light now, more birds. The house finches returned: a nest in the barbeque:
the Steller’s jays returned; a nest in the bottle brush, not their usual stupid choice
of the patio umbrella, though they did leave a few twigs there for their gods.
And the great blue heron, a first time visitor.
A portent. “An omen,” she says.
The heron, who suffers no fool, flies past my line of vision, to the sea.
Great sweeps of wing close enough to tease a strand of hair from my face.
Over my shoulder a shudder of air as all the mourning doves tear out
of the sycamore, a sound like the gods’ shrill laughter, a chilling sound.
“An omen,” she says. There is a nest I built inside myself on a rocky perch. To love is to borrow a future sorrow made of sticks and hair and spit.