Two Herons

Can’t shake the sadness over the shooting in Charleston, SC this morning.

My muse of late has been a heron I look for every morning on my drive to work. This morning there were two. Here’s a poem that hopes to capture the conflict in me when I hear about these kinds of acts of violence.

Two Herons

Good morning, heron on my right,
who lifted in flight as I drove by,
who glided above still black waters
for a time. I think we met
eye for eye. You were there
with me, my speeding
my needing heart my
furrowed brow. Good
morning, heron on my left,
the one I expect each morning,
upright and erect, how are you
undisturbed this morning, this
mourning, this morning’s news,
how do you not lift and turn
away, how do you keep facing
this day, how do you stand
and pray and not take flight,
or fight, my heron, my heron.
Heron on my right, lift high
your sorrow, your indignation,
your praise, and I will rise
with your wings. Heron on my left,
how do you stay, why do you
stay. Please stay. I will
follow you to that place
on that log in the dark wake,
and try to be still, and try
to be calm.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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