I ask the egret what makes him great. He smiles his bird smile and tells me of forbidden passion and how he loved and lost a snowy egret once. Held great roosts on the other side of the pond, invited all the shorebirds, hoping—just hoping—she’d maybe wade up his shore. At night he stood one-legged in a tree, ignoring the herons all around, while he studied the faint light reflected in the rippling water across the pond—I stop him there, tell him it sounds like he’s cribbing this story from Fitzgerald. Yes, he says, returning to the present, it’s true, it’s true, but there is no copyright for the heart, and besides… she was so beautiful and it was spring and the stars were bright and we were fledglings in the days of love.
ripple the still pond