low angle photography of two roseate spoonbill flying under the blue sky
Mornings elude me.
I don’t come alive till noon,
but today,
rising at 6AM,
I headed to the marsh for a glimpse of
dawn’s most colorful creatures feeding 
against a background of burgeoning light.

In the pink tinged mist
birds had gathered by the hundreds,

a white pelican 
separated from its flock,
pairs of cackling sand hill cranes,
lithe ibis, egrets, herons,
black neck stilts robotically walking, 
then gracefully taking flight, 
skimmers swooping down 
to swiftly glide above the surface
their open beaks scooping water,
leaving liquid trails behind. 

The view was a visual hum,
a statement of beauty 
and peaceful coexistence 
so close to home, 

and the coral-winged Roseate Spoonbills 
I’d come to see 
turned out to be 
the exclamation points. 

Joan Kantor

Joan Kantor has completed several poetry collections and has been published in numerous journals. She has won The Hackney Literary Award for Poetry, first place for poetry in The Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards and has been a finalist in several other contests. She has mentored young poets at The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, performs in Stringing Words Together (violinist and poet duo) and does readings and workshops throughout the Northeast and Florida. Her work focuses on nature, the human condition and the arts.