* * *
I did not plan to see
the heron landing on
the bank of the pond at dusk,
but he came anyway, circling
the edge of the smooth water,
his chalk-gray wings, swooping wide,
cresting, falling, his long neck,
buckled against his body, his eyes,
searching, fixing on the right spot.
Across the pond, moments before,
I walked, sinking into a maze of thoughts.
Yes, I would leave.
No, I would stay.
Yes, but would the next place
be the same?
A maze that held no solution.
When a sudden movement
caught my eye. I turned
to see a bird already descending,
its course set, its mark in sight,
a bird growing larger, more distinct.
A lone heron.
I had to watch him land on his two feet,
gather in his wings, unfurl his long neck,
and stretch till reaching full height.
What could make me look away?
I did not plan to see the heron,
but he came anyway
without my wanting or willing,
arriving, as though having torn
a hole through space and time in his
descent, bringing me back along with
him to the world in which I too belong
* * *
Moriah Hampton received her PhD in Modernist Literature from SUNY-Buffalo. Her fiction and photography have appeared in Hamilton Stone Review, Rune Literary Collection, The Sonder Review and elsewhere. She currently teaches in the Writing and Critical Inquiry Program at SUNY-Albany.