Monday, December 24, 2012

"…and with ah! bright wings"

All neck and shoulders. Feathers streaming off her back like water. She descends along the garden path like a bride at her nuptials -– step, pause, step, pause.

And then. And then. Those wings! She spreads those bedsheet wings, flaps them once or twice as if to shake them out, then leaps into the air -- push, push -- improbably ascending, long legs dangling behind like ribbons.

To tell the truth, I have no idea if it’s a she, but I can't bring myself to call her an it. "It" sounds so inanimate. Our great white egret is animation personified.

She seems to have taken up residence on our property, at least for the time being. Some folks have BMWs or Rolex watches. I have a great white egret.

That crook in her neck. Like an arm cocked to throw a spear. And what a spear! A beak like an assassin's dagger. Her nuptial gown is a ruse. She is an Amazon princess, fierce and ready.

Where has she gone? Now, just now, she passed the window, her muscular shoulders sculling the air. Leonardo would have been flabbergasted. He would have made himself wings of white silk and leapt off the roof of a Milanese palace. He would have imagined angels.