At the pond by the condominiums,
the great blue heron
stalks the shallow water,
slow, lugubrious dance
almost beautiful.
Head speared for fish,
disturbing his own reflection,
he hunts along the edges.

One day, he stood, perfectly still,
as if at prayer,
then broke and flew
toward his endless
blue freedom.

A flock of them in flight
astonished Henry and his brother
as they prepared the raft
for their journey home,
strange, fierce wind behind them,
world changed to autumn overnight.

“Now comes good sailing,”
Henry said, death near,
as his sister read to him
his own words about that morning.

Louis T. Mayeux is a former copy editor, sportswriter, and theater and book critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has published poems in the Lullwater Review and other journals and publishes the Southern Bookman, a literary blog.

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Published in the March 6, 2015 issue: View Contents
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