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  • Writer's pictureNadia Giordana


Shawn Nacona Stroud


Black Herons make daytime night. – Carly Brooke

Lady, you slink in slyly

dragging the drape of your black cape

as you slosh past awnings of acacia,

through a forest of reeds

which dance along the river’s edge.

You always tread through the shallows.

You’re just a trifling woman,

and your real gift is fabricating

darkness from light. Hunched feathers

perfect an umbrella of night—

a spotlight of darkness marks the surface,

rippling out upon blood-stained dusk.

Your shady refuge a fakery, your beak

poised like a tusk. You gaze through murk

conjuring fish and insects with a dastardly canopy.

Sister, there is no one you would not swallow

whole. I peek out from my sanctum—

you harpoon my soul. Brutal pecker

killing with one drive. I sense your predation.

You’ll never take me alive.

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