Great Egrets Return by Diane LeBlanc

Great Egrets Return

You lift your fork
to the window when
the first one arrives.

Crane, you say.
I jump. No, great egret!

Its wings dredge winter
from this April sky.

A few weeks ago
I mistook two sandhill cranes
at a different pond
for blue herons.

I told you twice,
you heard three times
and bought me binoculars.

The egret lands on a bank
not yet dense with willows.

I’m at the window
bringing it into focus
when the second glides by.

That’s the thing about binoculars.

The forest for the trees.
The beak for birds.

I should have known
those sandhill cranes weren’t blue
herons who travel alone.

But these two egrets have come
for three years. You know
I wait, hang my hopes on them,

hold them now in a magnified circle
for a moment my whole world.

by Diane LeBlanc

Editor’s Note: Tight, spare lines emphasize the narrative of this poem, giving the reader space to visualize the way a bird’s wings “dredge winter” from a sky.


4 responses to “Great Egrets Return by Diane LeBlanc”

  1. Lucie Winborne Avatar
    Lucie Winborne


  2. crsunde Avatar

    Lovely poem.

  3. crsunde Avatar

    Being a bird and poetry lover, enjoyed the poet’s ID puzzlement and the poem’s images.

  4. Marcia Avatar

    Another new favorite, Diane.

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