as the heron broke its fast

i sat silently
on the picnic table
watching as
obsidian waves
gently kissed the beach
the first birds
piercing hidden things
had woken
the second set
who whistled happily
drowning out the first
or perhaps they napped
lulled to sleep
by the happy song
bellies full of
the early worms
on which they supped

peace is blanket
i am not oftentime
swaddled within
even at these moments
of pure nirvana
the waterfall keeps
churning on a loop
my brain is a
cheap zen fountain
with little plastic
bonsai trees in
neutral shades of
aquarium gravel
the stagnant water
recirculated by my
ever pounding heart

a rusted egg shaped car
came down the winding
road that meanders along
the lake side through
the trees still clinging
to what was once a
verdant hairpiece now
scattered across the grass
and pulled up right behind
my car pulled off
onto yhe gravel shoulder
he was a little thin man
a pensive scowl on his
sagging and lined face
he bent across the empty
passenger seat and began
cranking down the window
it squeaked and his face
grew red angrier every turn

it was a spectacle
the slow descent of the
crooked window as his
grunts became more
pronounced in the once
quiet dark of the lake

there was a moment
pregnant with anticipation
as the window finally
had vanished
swallowed by the dented
red door of the egg shaped
automobile and the driver
tried to catch his breath
and i sat in total confusion
and then he leaned over
and looked right at me
and i leaned forward
across the picnic table
and the sun broke over
the waters in a million
tiny reflections
and a heron swooped low
to stand still in the
shallows looking for a fish
and at last he spoke

“i can tell you that you fell in love once. she was a journalist covering the second world war, you were a painter painting houses part time to earn enough money to open your first gallery. she lost an eye to shrapnel, you lost your pinkie toe in a gardening mishap. you never met, but god saw fit to unite your toe and her eye and a baby seal was born. i come from florida, where i was a zookeeper. i helped nurse your child. it wanted you to know it is happy, it swims and eats fish”

i swallowed his words
a mouthful of sand that
clogged my brain as my
mouth moved dully
a bluegill in the beak
of the heron just realizing
there may have been
a collosal mistake
he began to laboriously
crank thr wibdow back up
redfaced in his struggle
twice i nearly formed words
but by then he had the window
all the way back up
and was gasping as he checked
his mirrors and pulled away

i just sat silently
on the picnic table
as the heron flew away

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