This weekend we drove to Sebastopol, over the top of the San Francisco Bay, through marshlands filled with waterbirds.
I’m lucky to live near a creek where egrets hunt and nest. I take walks alongside this miniature waterway and appreciating the ducks keep an eye out for that white, upright stillness near the shore, often half hidden by tall dry grasses. When I come upon a lesser or greater egret, I stop at the pure white form the way you’d stop if you suddenly came across a living saint in prayer. They have a quality of prayer as they fish.
Once, when I was heading down toward the creek, I came eye level with one in flight. And this poem came in a rush of wings.
This lovely version is read by Marie Craven, who honors my poem and the egret with a lovely, soft voice beautifully precise and accented in a way that endows it with the hush and formal awe I was feeling. The poem is from my newest book Gods of Water and Air, available on Amazon.