Sometimes the past I carry around
weighs me down until I am choking
and squinting through the heavy bars
slowly crushing my skull.
There are two options: bed
or the lake shore, where the birds call
me to the present, watchful
warning. A great blue heron stalks
too close to the killdeers’ nest
and the show begins. First dive
bombing, which she shudders off
but now they have her attention,
the male hops close by, stumbles
and jerks an obviously injured wing.
Awkward and painfully, he leads
the heron away from the nest. Even
fishermen intent on the waters won’t
hesitate to feast on a fresh egg. The little bird
huddles in a shoddy attempt to hide, chirping
pitifully, Easy pickings. Get your own killdeer!
The female is well-hidden until
the heron begins to move.
Then all at once, the plover leaps
into the air, jeering its kill-dee, kill-dee,
descending to meet its mate
and face this giant fearlessly
adamant until the heron saunters
off. A few minutes later — on her own
impulse, this has nothing to do
with the pesky little birds, she croaks
her scold, taking to the skies like a
prehistoric bird, a pterydactyl straight out
of my sons’ favorite dinosaur book. And I
am here, watching a gentle rain now
create tiny spheres in an intricate
pattern that looks chaotic only because
my perception needs honing
and my sense of separation
— oh, hello, little bunny,
now where are we?