Night Herons

By day at the marsh

droll waiters wait

seeming asleep

‘til night

to fly

from pondside roosts

invisible bearers

of death


their funerary finery

grudgingly displayed;

green-black watch-cap pulled

low into shoulders

hunched & brooding

breeding plumage crown

discreetly smoothed down

cold, denying.


At night by the lake

dark waders wade

silent sentries

for fish

that flash

from bottom silt

secret black-beak lighting





their strike-toss-swallow single-sound

silhouette of stealth;

stalking rats along
shores of treasure-trash

bait abated

gullet & gizzard

working to grizzly

lethal effect.