Four Egrets at the Reservoir

Four great egrets,

the wands of their

slender necks waving,

wade through tall

reeds and tranquil

water to the sound

of a kingfisher’s

call. The tops of

surrounding trees

are lit from above,

and the ground below

them, shadowed.

All is serene, from

the gander swimming

in circles to water

striders, skating

across the reservoir’s

still surface. In

summer, lilies

bloom and multiply,

their petals a delicate

shade of pink. But

the wedding-veil-

white of the egrets’

feathers is stark

in early spring,

against umber,

sienna, and olive,

and the evening air,

cool and weightless

here, where egrets

come and go — like

darkness and the light.

— Terri Kirby Erickson

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