Seldom a Perfect Landing

 For David
Watching blue heron glide
Across the edge of silver lake,
I got arrested, not by spindly legs
Trailing out behind.
Attention was detained by
Sturdiness of expanded wing,
The slender throat, the long beak
Ready to spear a fish for lunch.
Blue heron erupted into view,
Swooped low above the water’s edge,
Bringing beauty in its navigation—
Not perfect in awkward landing,
Though there is also beauty found
In what’s broken… slowly,
Slowly watching healing come,
Not flying upon broad wings
But silently creeping inside the bone,
Marrow mending break,
Knitting together across the space.
I have dear friend who fell from tree,
Found he could not fly to ground,
Broke bones and could not move….
Lay for hours, back fractured.
Unlike blue heron,
He missed the marsh in landing,
His muscled arms no good in flapping,
Flailing hard until he hit hard Earth.
He was no blue heron, though now
I sometimes think of him
Black and blue with broken wing and
Secretly name him Icarus.


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