We are all intruders here
though we fool ourselves this late winter day,
carving a place on the banks
to anchor our heels.
We stretch over the water, hoping
to slip onto the wings of a great blue heron
but afraid to get caught in the trap of reeds, twisting
in the foul water.
The marsh ignites: will-o'-the-wisps,
sprites, a wisp of flames,
torches held aloft by villagers
marching on the manor.
We've read too many fairy tales
but this much is true:
I heard voices.
Not the call of a willet or clapper rail
but a child caught beneath the ceiling of water
the thin reed of its voice
rising in the brackish light.
Carol V. Davis
Truman State University Press
Copyright © 2012 by Truman State University Press
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission