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.