I don’t know that I’ll ever think of myself as a poet. But sometimes inspiration that can only be expressed in verse strikes. A short while back, while hanging pictures with my son, I was struck to compose the following poem. I hope you like it.
Memory of a Blue Heron
I said to my son
As he helped me hang pictures of herons,
he with his plastic hammer,
mine of steel,
I said to him
As he announced, “It’s a Blue Heron!”
with four-year-old enthusiasm for
something so simple.
“A Blue Heron once landed on our fence,”
caught up in his four-year-old enthusiasm,
“in our yard.”
“But you probably don’t remember.”
“I was just a baby to remember.”
he then said.
That was when it came to me,
that was when I realized,
it was a lie.
A Blue Heron
Never landed on our fence,
never rested in our yard, never
in his lifetime.
It was another fence
Across an alley, in another yard,
in another decade and some years, before
he was born,
That a beautiful
Blue-Gray bird, the size of a small boy,
sat for me to see, and watch,
So, I ask myself
Why did I give my son a memory
that was never his as though
Taking measurements, hammering nails, and leveling pictures
with his father wasn’t enough for him
to look back on.
What I had to give in truth wasn’t enough,
that what I had to give to him would never
To repay him,
For what he’s given to me.