The Great Egret on Calico Creek

The egret stakes out a place
in the shallows,
waiting for the tide to deliver
the day’s fresh catch.

With the sun brightening
its pristine plumage,
it grows ever more radiant,
even as poised to strike.

In that infinitesimal moment
between living and dying,
the masterful fisher fixes its aim,
jabs and gulps.

Then it tucks its snakelike neck,
pumps its powerful wings,
and with a few deep, long strokes,
floats up and away —

without a mark to show
where it has been
or trail to trace
where it is going.

-Richard Lebovitz

Richard Lebovitz is a former educator and magazine editor in Atlanta. He is currently involved in rescuing native plants and creating habitats to replace environments lost to development. His poems have appeared recently in Town Creek Review, Canary, The Curlew, The RavensPerch, POEM, Sky Island Journal and Broad River Review.