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
in the iron gates
of his hooked yellow bill
the last arm
of the twilight.
unable yet to fly,
he turned and watched,
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.