Going to Church on a Weekday – a poem by Susan Bennett

Going to Church on a Weekday			                         

Moving with the simple elegance of a dancer,
exquisitely patient.
Each deliberate exertion,
weighed down by deadly intent.
Gunmetal grey feathers
soften his spindly frame.
The color of where water and sky meet
and lose themselves in each other.

His patience far exceeds my own.
I stop on my walk to drink in this vision.
He freezes in place, has he seen me?
We share a moment of dead quiet.
I begin to wonder,
how long can I stand unmoving?
When I stop wondering
being still becomes easier.

All my desires and deceits
dissolve into this singular moment.
All I can ever remember wanting 
is to be here watching him, 
as long as he allows it.

I can’t say how much time passes,
but it is long enough.
Just as thoughts of tasks ahead begin
to invade my peace, he plunges 
his sharp beak into the pond, 
raises his perfect neck victorious,
skewering a silvery fish 
bigger than his own head.

Two swallows and the fish is gone.
He returns to his motionless stance.
My shock is surpassed only by my delight.
Blessed by the ministry 
of the Great Blue Heron,
I continue on the path.

Susan Bennett is a ritualist and emerging poet. She has been leading women’s spirit circles in Northern Virginia for fifteen years.  Her poem “In the Center Ring” was published in Gargoyle Magazine, Spring 2021. She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego.

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