No Heron by Sarah Wolfson

Baby Eyes,
when you opened
you struck red epaulettes on black

and by a nameless
law of metaphysics
all my wings are astral fires

burning up
the firmament.
Elsewhere a hummingbird

darts over a voyager’s iceberg
and a vulture, refusing even the stalest cracker,
hisses from some sad lady’s gilded cage.

All my grasses are wheat
and my one passerine (only accidents of dye and heat
could make such scarlet)

dives for frogs, hollows
out a long-dead tree. At night
a tiny haunt, come morning

he mourns dovishly.
So for me,
no heron, no falcon.

No peregrination.
No passage. No pigeon.
No foreign zoo

where popcorn stops the beak
and battens down the wing.
Therefore: no ostrich,

no peacock. Not even the
to other eyes ubiquitous
ibis. Not even a pelican

despite the fish
flopping in its throat
like a heart.
Sarah Wolfson‘s poems have appeared in AGNI, Gulf Coast, and The Mid-American Review. She was a 2009 finalist for the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships, and she has an MFA from the University of Michigan. She is originally from Vermont but currently lives and teaches in Montreal.