The Myth of the Heron


Already wise to my weakness for exaggeration,
you tell me it’s not a pterodactyl
flying past the window.
Though there is something prehistoric
about the sheer breath of its wing span,
the way it hangs suspended over
the red bruise of the tree
before swooshing away.
A timeless flying machine
against the deep blue of an October sky.

We discuss the pros and cons of wings,
how high you’d really like to go,
whether we should get ourselves
a TARDIS for Christmas.
As I tell you tales of dragons
and serpents and Sinbad clinging to the Roc,
I think there is a deep truth to these miracles.

The shepherd’s daughter who survives
till morning by shedding so much skin,
who holds the slimy, naked snake
in her arms and is not afraid.
For aren’t we all beautiful monsters,
struggling with cancerous demons,
dreaming our Icarus dreams?
The trick is to make extinction
the longest possible fall.


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