1. In Response to “Night Heron, Ascending”

      I used to ride the bus for hours
      just to watch the herons stalk
      like specters around the marsh,
      too subtle for the Southern California
      flash of blue, hills tucked
      into fissured earth like a comforter.
      No wonder you likened them to poems,
      these avian philosophers.
      They ponder tiny movements
      beneath the surface, where the stingrays school.
      Herons, egrets, curved-beak curlews
      sipping mud on the banks
      all show me how to pay attention.

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