Stalking Love

Linda Gaida

an ekphrastic poem

Dismal Swamp, Flavius J. Fisher

I saw her from across the swamp:
her impeccably plumed wings moved
with the sort of fragmented
grace and lure
of loosened cranks
and curving knobs.
Bulging stomach
told me she was a
skilled frog stalker;
the arch and bow
of her neck was ideal
for swift plunging.
And she was tall.
I could tell even
from my distanced
one-legged bearing
in mud.
Her lingering chestnut legs
extended for miles
to perfectly hooked claws.
All I could do was wade, wait.
I felt
my great blue
greyer than usual
against the mauve swamp.
Staring instead
at the glowing, silver fingernail
murkily tattooed
on water’s surface
was all I could do
to keep balance.
We’re supposed to be solitary, aren’t we.
We have our rookeries,
but for the most part—loneliness.
And posing there
from across the swamp
she and I
were so lonely.
And I mused if I
might be the first heron
to be taken
by another’s loneliness.
And I wondered where she would descend
and whether her landing would ripple.

Thanks for reading. Check out Lyric Structure and Lyric Sanctuary →