Alack! The little egret calls
(or warbles) as she loosely flaps
behind the curved neck of her mate.
And when with shrug of saint-white wings
he stalls in staggered air and cracks
the marsh-green water, lands and stands,
she glides and slips her yellow feet
into the thin canal quite near.
Her beak she dips for private fish.
Though separately they stalk and hunt,
their crests, white plumes, so lift and bob
as if the headdress on one head.
Not one but two, thin pitchers firm
within the water’s structured tug,
no more unbalanced than the reeds.
They elegantly bend and pour
their efforts toward the narrow shade,
the underpinnings of the road.
With slips and care and backtracking
for bugs, an odyssey of mud,
they drain into that concrete dark.
Greg Huteson’s poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from the Alabama Literary Review, Modern Age, the Saint Katherine Review, The Honest Ulsterman, The Brazen Head, the Trinity House Review, and other US and UK journals. He lives in Taiwan.