I woke to more rain, and felt in the dark
for how wet the sill was, then rolled back
to my radio, and a midnight preacher
in my earphone teaching about sin.
I learned that punishment would come
like lightning that surprises an innocent shore.
Thunder would follow me all my days,
stern reminder and sharp rebuke.
The long, sleek, and pointed call
that rose, as if in response, out of the estuary
of night and storm, said it knew well
what the given world gave, and wanted more.
Fred Marchant, “Night Heron Maybe” from The Looking House. Copyright © 2009 by Fred Marchant. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org
Source: The Looking House
(Graywolf Press, 2009)