Losing ‘Great White Egret’

Losing ‘Great White Egret’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

"Great flight" by Flickr user britta heise (CC BY-NC 2.0)

My memory’s erratic and tonight
I can’t locate your name – four syllables
just out of sight, hiding amongst the reeds

Bird out of place, you were a wonder.
I watched you from my kitchen window –
stilted ballerina, bright incongruity,
following our horses through the winter mud,
stepping in their hoof prints, day after day
through the fearsome months, delicate,
as if escaped from a dream: a puzzlement.
I looked for the message you had brought –
balance calmness contentment patience
no responsibility to take on the energy
of others whether you love them or not.
You upped and left before I found an answer.

while you walk blazing through memory,
unburdened now by name or meaning;
summered clear and white.

Moyra Donaldson is a poet from Co Down, Northern Ireland, who has published nine collections of poetry. Her most recent, Bone House, was published by Doire Press last April. She received a Major Individual Artist award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2019.
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