What I Said to the Great Blue Heron When He Asked Why I Did Not Leave



But I haven’t witnessed the magnificence of a frigatebird, its long forked tail,

    its red hidden pouch, its mighty black wings over the Gulf.

But the partridge pea like the bull thistle glows for no one else, only the sea.

But the snow goose, grinning, descends in a beach snow over the wild dunes.

But the pelican, like so many of us, will rattle himself silly, slamming his face    

    for a fish in the lagoon, and he’ll do so recurrently, with ardor and honesty,

    over a lifetime.

But the plover is small, a sandy moth dancing in the mudflats

    among the sea flies and bulrush.

But I haven’t listened enough to the sounds of the refrain, and my boots

    have not shed their muds, for I don’t want to take away the soil,

    never knowing if it will ever make its way back.

But the cattle egret is a golden life as much as she is white.

But the promise, the promise...

But when I was a boy, seven or eight, I stood once on a boat, away from the other boys,

    watching a crane, his black face and yellow eye stabbing into a crab,

    and I knew in my bones that I could do this, too.

But I am less timid now, less willing to walk into the dunes.

But the sea is everything I have learned to love in myself, the whole sea, the whole man

immersed in the darkness, the tides.

But I am alone more than ever before.

But my words in my own hidden pouch, dancing

    among the mudflats, the sea flies, the ghost crab.

But I am a man still learning how and what to forgive.




                                                                                    from The Possibilities of Mud

                                                                                    © Joe Jiménez, 2014