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Tired and hungry, late in the day, impelled

to leave the house and search for what

might lift me back to what I had fallen away from,

I stood by the shore waiting.

I had walked in the silent woods:

the trees withdrew into their secrets.

Dusk was smoothing breadths of silk

over the lake, watery amethyst fading to gray.

Ducks were clustered in sleeping companies

afloat on their element as I was not

on mine. I turned homeward, unsatisfied.

But after a few steps, I paused, impelled again

to linger, to look North before nightfall-the expanse

of calm, of calming water, last wafts

of rose in the few high clouds.

And was rewarded:

the heron, unseen for weeks, came flying

widewinged toward me, settled

just offshore on his post,

took up his vigil.

                               If you ask

why this cleared a fog from my spirit,

I have no answer.


A Reward by Denise Levertov 


            Day ends, and before sleep
                         when the sky dies down, consider

          your altered state: has this day

            changed you? Are the corners

         sharper or rounded off? Did you

       live with death? Make decisions

   that quieted? Find one clear word

            that fit? At the sun’s midpoint

    did you notice a pitch of absence,

        bewilderment that invites

          the possible? What did you learn

     from things you dropped and picked up

         and dropped again? Did you set a straw

     parallel to the river, let the flow

            carry you downstream?


Questions Before Dark by Jeanne Lohmann


Photos by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT

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