Herons

SANDRA SHAFFER VANDOREN

Motionless as herons, snipers stare,
their long, slick beaks of guns all pointing down
at crumbled stones. Throughout the heavy air
no ripples stir, nothing moves. No sound.

I read the news reports of war and think
about the parts that I can comprehend.
In my mind’s eye, I see the river’s brink,
with shore birds drenched in silence that portends
quick death below — a frog, a careless fish.
This scene glides through my thoughts as somehow right.
There is an order here; nature persists
in balances.
But then, a different sight:
the herons, shot — blood, pouring through my dreams
and drowning fishes in a dying stream.


Sandra Shaffer VanDoren has published work in Iambs & Trochees, Lyric, Mid-America Poetry Review, and Neovictorian / Cochlea, among others.

First published in Measure, Volume 2 (2007)