Solitary stalker

What diligence, what slow

studied pace the great egret

keeps, fishing the same kink

in the shoreline of the creek.

His eye telescopic,

his yellow beak a sudden

electric spear. He endures

the wind teasing him,

rippling his glassy mirror.

He does not give up when the tide

slips in deeper and deeper. He finds

a sandbar. He's even aware that

I study him. Eventually

he will escape me, wading back

into the muddy fingers of the cove

where the land level is higher - where

he can hold his solitude

like air pockets under his wings.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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