Egret at February’s End

the egret is standing in a
flood plain of the Otter’s riverbank
flattened by rushing water from recent
rain, and browned dead by

it will be invisible
if it is still and still standing there,
lost in the white of a promised
Siberian Arctic snow,
but we shall see.

Egret irony.

White or buff
and at dusk
just as visible.

This egret is over two hundred years old,
the same Coleridge observed as a boy
walking in this town of his birth,
archiving for later,
dreaming already of an albatross
he’ll never actually see.

a great white migrated to Somerset, its
belated chase of Samuel to write his
Rime and Kubla there, opium moving
to nether regions,
deep in

taking off
spreading wings
with snow
with other birds
elegant landing
awkward landing
catching food
female against egret wallpaper

Nuptial plumes
breeding demise,
but xeno-cano
will share
their calls,
little snowies of
sound –
those who haven’t survived
two centuries to sing now.


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