Trespassing with Tweens

After arguing, gasping up at the Great Blue
Herons flap into the cypresses, we hush into mosses
and fallen needles auburn as wood doves.

All around us the forbidden Water
District’s lilypads flex their mirrored hides.

Now another clatters back from his wide hunter’s glide,
brings in his wings’ ungainly myth,
folds his fisherman legs and straightens the tremendous
S-beard of his neck.

His pterodactyl face, almost all beak,
focuses in a yellow twinge that wells into an eye;
a black stripe streaks into his crest’s flung jot.

You hate how distracted I get, my incomprehensible flights.
But you comprehend this pair of herons
sitting down on their extravagances to feed their chicks.

And now you’re shrieking at their clucks, their gullying barks.
For a heron parent has tilted his or her face
formally as a watering can toward a vase
fluffed by what we’re certain is
                                                                  (Look, Mommy, look
look look!)
                      two smaller beaks and an opening.

Danielle Chapman

Danielle Chapman

Danielle Chapman is the author of Delinquent Palaces (Northwestern University Press, 2015). Her essays and criticism can be found in The Oxford American, Commonweal, and Poetry. She teaches Shakespeare and creative writing at Yale.
Danielle Chapman

Latest posts by Danielle Chapman (see all)

Author: Danielle Chapman

Danielle Chapman is the author of Delinquent Palaces (Northwestern University Press, 2015). Her essays and criticism can be found in The Oxford American, Commonweal, and Poetry. She teaches Shakespeare and creative writing at Yale.