During my ritual walk around the pond the expected presence of an egret remained in view, testing the dark waters for fish. Rarely does he not appear here. He persists in returning as the weather warms, gradually. Stalking the perimeter of the pond for food and scraps.

About twenty-four years ago my brother died when he was just eighteen, a shock of earthquake proportions reverberating through the family. The event was totally unexpected. To help me cope I always pictured him putting on a coat of plumage, a heavy costume of a crane—the same logic of the Grimm fairytale showing the brothers bewitched into swans.

So this afternoon with an almost full moon hugging the horizon—an egret wandering nearby as a constant symbol, as a repititious image—I tried three or four times to get close enough to take a photograph. Snap a reminder—

but a rough tribe of children on their bikes and skates stampeded into the area, startling the bird away to his hidden layers within the greying field nearby.

So no photographic record. And the haiku which resulted seems sentimental, for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps over time I could appreciate the phrasing and the new age regeneration theme clustered in the words—human spirit tranformed to animal form.

Ricky appeared later with Brendan in his stroller, and the three of us walked home after one more cycle around the pond.

Elusive egret
pausing at water's edge—
were you once my brother?

Moon watches closely
as two white envelopes are
dropped into the mail.


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