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The Fog Lifts                                                                                                   


An eagle flies to a heron’s branch, and the heron flies away

on stick legs, squawking. Soon the whole bay’s raucous

with the cries of crows and gulls and loons, and a haunting

moan on the loose behind tall trees mossed with fog

at the lean shore’s edge.


Is it the eagle, who took the branch before landing on it,

or the young man in the yellow kayak, plunging his oars

into the dark-sleeved water, that pulls from every throat

this echoing spill of voices? Undisturbed, my son glides on

in his red rain slicker, twenty years strong.


Nothing will stop him from riding the jubilant current he’s found,

plumbing the ancient blood tides to conjure a life different from

the one back home. Magic’s in the air, the future on his mind.

And a frog’s, swimming too far out, that he chauffeurs to shore.

What a prince!


Deeper then, he paddles, the hours all his. Disappears, he does,

into them. And the fog lifts like a page turned—revelation

and sudden remembrance in its place: the cupped fallen light,

stirred leaves dangling just so, even higher branches

like wands for the taking.




In the rocky shallows

of a shell-littered beach

a marauding seagull

found a starfish.


Hauled it over 

the grieving sands

and ate it.


It took an hour:


one by one, and slowly,

each plump starry arm

was swallowed,


that plunging

rivering body


in the iron gates                                          

of his hooked yellow bill


until finally

the last arm

let go

of the twilight.


Neck bulging,

unable yet to fly,

he turned and watched,

eyes glittering

as the darkened sea withdrew.


Lynne Burnett’s poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies in the US and Canada. A Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee, she won the 2016 Lauren K. Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize and 2019 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook Irresistible.

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