Egrets

Where the path closed
down and over,
through the scumbled leaves,
fallen branches,
through the knotted catbrier,
I kept going. Finally
I could not
save my arms
from thorns; soon
the mosquitoes
smelled me, hot
and wounded, and came
wheeling and whining.
And that’s how I came
to the edge of the pond:
black and empty
except for a spindle
of bleached reeds
at the far shore
which, as I looked,
wrinkled suddenly
into three egrets – - -
a shower
of white fire!
Even half-asleep they had
such faith in the world
that had made them – - -
tilting through the water,
unruffled, sure,
by the laws
of their faith not logic,
they opened their wings
softly and stepped
over every dark thing.

(Mary Oliver Poems)

(Female Poets)       (Contemporary Poets)      (American Poets)