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Anthology of Louisiana Literature

Julie Kane.
"Egrets."

Public domain photo by Getty Images

You have to love them

for the way they make takeoff

look improbable:

 

jogging a few steps,

then heaving themselves like sacks

of nickels into

 

the air. Make them wear

mikes and they’d be grunting

like McEnroe lobbing

 

a Wimbledon serve.

Then there’s the matter of their

feet, which don’t retract

 

like landing gear nor

tuck up neatly as drumsticks

on a dinner bird,

 

but instead hang down

like a deb’s size tens from

the hem of her gown.

 

Once launched, they don’t so

much actively fly as blow

like paper napkins,

 

so that, seeing white

flare in a roadside ditch, you

think, trash or egret?—

 

and chances are it’s

not the great or snowy type,

nearly wiped out by

 

hat plume hunters in

the nineteenth century, but

a common cattle

 

egret, down from its

usual perch on a cow’s

rump, where it stabs bugs.

 

Whoever named them

got it right, coming just one

r short of regret.

 

 

Source

Kane, Julie. Rhythm & Booze: Poems by Julie Kane. Urbana: University of Illinois Pr., 2003. <http:// www. amazon. com/ Rhythm- Booze- National- Poetry- Series/dp/ 0252071409/>.


Selected books by Julie Kane:


Body and Soul (1987)

Rhythm & Booze: Poems by Julie Kane(2003)
Winner in the 2002 National Poetry Series
Finalist for the 2005 Poet's Prize

Jazz Funeral (2009)
Winner of the 2009 Donald Justice Poetry Prize

Home Page
Anthology of Louisiana Literature