Winter 2005 • Vol. XXVII No. 1 Poetry |

No Heron

Herons are bigger than egrets, though they have the same long legs.My father said one with an eight-foot wingspan flew over his boat.I would like to be shadowed by something that big. It would seem like poetry, just out of reach, moving and making a bare flushof wings, and I would think of it long after, the way it was headingaway from me. My longing would not be satisfied even if I could grab its scrawny legs in my hand, even if it nuzzled up to me.I would be looking up the origin of heron with my free hand andwhen I read Greek, to creak, and Old High German, to scream, I would wait for it to begin, but it would not say anything to mein this boat which I am not in, but at my desk hoping for the heron,a big one, as I said, so I can say, "Wow, look at that!" as if I were getting up a circus. Out there are herons white and blue, not reallyblue but smoky, with wings bigger than their bodies, dipping andstanding motionless beside lakes and rivers. Out there are universes

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Photo of Fleda Brown
Fleda Brown’s tenth collection of poems, Flying Through a Hole in the Storm (Ohio University Press, 2021) won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize from Ohio University Press and is a Foreword INDIES finalist. Brown’s earlier poems can be found in The Woods Are On Fire: New & Selected Poems, chosen by Ted Kooser for his University of Nebraska series, 2017. Her work has appeared three times in The Best American Poetry and has won a Pushcart Prize, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award for Poetry. Brown has also twice been a finalist for the National Poetry Series Competition. Her latest book is Mortality, with Friends (Wayne State University Press, 2021), a Midwest Book Award winner in memoir from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association.

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Doctor of the World

By Fleda Brown

Herons are bigger than egrets, though they have the same long legs.My father said one with an eight-foot wingspan flew over his boat.I would like to be shadowed by something […]

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