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The Little Review
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Poem for Monday and Canal Herons


Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond
By Mary Oliver

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself--
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn't a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

--------

It was nearly 100 degrees on Sunday with a heat index of nearly 110, so we spent as little time outside as possible...well, all of us but Adam, who did yard work for two hours for a neighbor and was rewarded by getting to see two teeny bunnies as well as getting paid. (Daniel, who has no air conditioning in Seattle, said the 94 degree temperatures weren't bothering him.)

Because of this weather, we decided the only suitable activity for the afternoon was a trip to the movies. We went with Adam and one of his friends to see Ant-Man, which was a pretty complete delight apart from the usual Marvel problems (undeveloped female characters, atrocious science). It had just enough Avengers connections to make me happy without feeling like it was forced.

I don't mind spoilers, but I'm glad I didn't know about two lovely surprises in Ant-Man (I hadn't even read the cast list). And it's just as well that I didn't know anything about Tut, which we put on for Ben Kingsley and Alexander Siddig and is some highly entertaining crack about Egypt (about as realistic as Ant-Man)! Here are some of the green herons we saw Saturday:















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