The Pond Heron
The dead don't write
but my cousin's letter arrives three days
after he's blown away by some kid
in his own platoon.
Maybe another Georgia boy
who's never been so far from home
so scared he shoots at anything
moving in shadows.
The letter feels light
for my cousin's voice.
He speaks of sheer petals rising
out of muddy fields
spreading before the sun.
Of a copper heron in shallow water
who dips his black-tipped beak
to spear his prey.
This poem first appeared in the magazine Amaryllis and was edited by Stephen Daniels. Chella Courington is a writer and teacher whose poetry and fiction appear in numerous anthologies and journals including Spillway, Los Angeles Review and Lavender Review. Her novella, Adele and Tom: The Portrait of a Marriage, is available on Amazon. Originally from the Appalachian South, Courington lives in Santa Barbara, California.